Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa returned home on Friday evening on conclusion of his official visit to India.

The island nation's Social Welfare Minister, Douglas Devananda, who was part of the Presidential delegation and got into the limelight after a petition was filed seeking his arrest on the ground that he was a proclaimed offender in India, also returned.

Mr. Devananda maintained that the cases against him in Tamil Nadu were filed prior to the Indo-Lanka 1987 Accord. “Under a provision of the Accord the then President, J.R. Jayewardene had pardoned all the political activists and ex-combatants against whom cases were pending under the Emergency regulations and other laws,” he said.

The Minister said the accord provided the Sri Lankan President the authority to pardon certain categories of persons convicted prior to the 1987 Accord and expected India to cooperate.

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