The only Tamil woman in Sri Lanka to have held the post of a minister was arrested on Monday for allegedly making controversial remarks in favour of the banned separatist group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, reported PTI.
“When we consider our lives prior to May 18, 2009, today’s circumstances call for the re-emergence of the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam),” IANS quoted her as saying. “To enforce the safety of our children and women, to see them come home safely from their schools, LTTE governance must come into operation.”
The Police Organised Crimes Preventive Division summoned Vijayakala Maheswaran in the morning to record a statement and arrested her afterwards, said police spokesperson SP Ruwan Gunasekara.
Maheswaran, who was a parliamentarian from the ruling United National Party, said at an event in June that the law and order situation was deteriorating in the Northern Province and its people felt they were better off under the Tamil militant group. There were no social crimes when the LTTE ran a parallel administration, she reportedly said.
The 45-year-old resigned the following month after the comments caused an uproar in Parliament. The government also revoked her state ministerial position and subjected her to an investigation to establish if she had endangered national security by promoting the LTTE.
Later, a police inquiry was ordered into her remarks and the attorney general’s opinion was also sought. Maheswaran said she had made the comment in response to increasing incidents of crimes against women in the northern provinces and the police’s failure to tackle them.