Rajapaksa denies funding Tamil Tiger rebels

Colombo, July 21 (IANS) Former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa has denied giving money to Tamil Tiger rebels who were defeated in 2009 after a 30-year civil war.

Anura Kumara Dissanayake, leader of the People’s Liberation Front, said President Maithripala Sirisena had told him that if a Presidential Commission of Inquiry finds the former president guilty of having given money to the rebels before their eventual defeat militarily, he could be deprived of his civic rights, Xinhua reported.

The former president’s office, however, said the People’s Liberation Front has been trying to mislead voters ahead of the parliament elections next month.

“The public should be vigilant about such falsehood being propagated by bankrupt politicians,” said the statement from Rajapaksa’s office.

“Firstly, former president Mahinda Rajapaksa did not give money to the LTTE. On the contrary, it was he who defeated the LTTE.

“Secondly, no Presidential Commission has recommended that Rajapaksa be deprived of his civic rights.

“Thirdly a Presidential Commission of Inquiry cannot deprive anybody of his civic rights unless parliament passes a resolution to that effect with a two thirds majority,” the statement said.

Rajapaksa is contesting the parliamentary elections scheduled to take place on August 17 and is looking to be the next prime minister.

The former president lost the presidential elections in January to Maithripala Sirisena, who is from his same political party, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party.

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