Political parties in Tamil Nadu and journalist associations on Friday sought Centre’s intervention for release of an Indian national arrested in Sri Lanka.

MDMK leader Vaiko appealed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to ensure the safe return of the man hailing from Tamil Nadu, arrested on Thursday.

In a letter to Dr. Singh, Mr. Vaiko identified the arrested person as Tamil Prabhakaran and said he had gone there on a tourist visa on December 25.

He said Mr. Prabhakaran had accompanied Sri Lankan Tamil MP Sritharan and Pasupathi Pillai, elected Member of the Northern Provincial Council, who visited Ponnavili, a Tamil village.

“Then they have proceeded to Valaipadu village. When they were on discussion with Rev. Father of St. Antony Church, they were surrounded by the Sri Lankan Army at 1.30 p.m. and taken to custody,” he said.

While Mr. Sritharan and Mr. Pillai were released in the evening, Mr. Prabhakaran was detained, he said.

Claiming that the arrested Mr. Prabhakaran was a ‘journalist’, Mr. Vaiko insisted that a journalist had “every right” to visit any country on tourist visa and the “freedom to meet people.”

Expressing concern over the arrest, Mr. Vaiko requested Dr. Singh to take “immediate appropriate measures” through the External Affairs Ministry to enable the safe return of Mr. Prabakaran to Tamil Nadu.

PMK founder S, Ramadoss also flayed the arrest, alleging that it was an example of human rights violations in that country.

The Chennai Press Club and Chennai Union of Journalists wrote to the External Affairs Ministry, saying Mr. Prabhakaran had written a series of articles in a Tamil bi-weekly “about the plight of the Lankan Tamils”, which was subsequently published as a book. The associations sought the intervention of the Ministry for Mr. Prabhakaran’s release.

On December 26, Sri Lankan police had said an Indian national had been arrested on charges of filming a military installation in Kilinochchi, the former LTTE stronghold.

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