The Colombo High Court on Wednesday allowed the indictment in connection with the killing of the former Foreign Minister, Lakshman Kadirgamar, to be amended, excluding the names of LTTE chief Velupillai Prabakaran and its intelligence wing head, Pottu Amman.
The decision of the court assumes importance as the two and Tiger women’s wing leader Akila were wanted for planning Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination in May 1991.
Akila’s name was dropped after she got killed in action with the Sri Lankan military in 1995.
Colombo High Court Judge Kumuduni Wickremasinghe had allowed the application made by the Attorney-General that the two main accused in the assassination case of Kadirgamar — Prabakaran and Pottu Amman — were confirmed dead.
On May 21, two days after Colombo announced the death of Prabakaran in Eelam War IV, President Mahinda Rajapaksa promised National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan and then Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon to give a copy of the death certificate of the LTTE chief to enable India close the Rajiv assassination case.
Prabakaran’s body was shown on Sri Lankan media on May 19 and a week later the then LTTE International Relations Head and Prabakaran’s successor Selvarasa Pathmanathan admitted that Prabakaran had indeed died.
Two weeks later, the military announced that a DNA test confirmed the death of Prabakaran and his son Charles Anthony.
Formal response awaited
In a written reply in the Lok Sabha on July 8, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna had said a formal response from Colombo was still awaited.
Outgoing Sri Lankan Foreign Secretary Palitha Kohona told The Hindu, “I have not seen the application moved before the Colombo High Court. In layman’s terms it means the government is seeking approval of the Court to remove the names of Prabakaran and Pottu Amman from the Kadirgamar murder case as both are dead and can no longer be prosecuted.
“As for the Indian request for a death certificate on the person of Prabakaran, it has not been given by our government as the legal process is still on. Once a court in Sri Lanka acknowledges death of Prabakaran and Pottu Amman, it is valid in any other court of law.”