B. Muralidhar Reddy

COLOMBO: Triggering speculation on the possible motives, in view of the prevailing security situation in the island nation, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse left here on an unannounced visit to London.

Indications here from officials are that Mr. Rajapakse would meet British Prime Minister Tony Blair and exchange views on the situation in Sri Lanka. Colombo has been under pressure from the international community to work on a new strategy to de-escalate tensions and avoid walking into the LTTE's "war trap". The visit to London, where the LTTE's chief negotiator Anton Balasingham resides, is Mr. Rajapakse's first to Britain since he came to power in November.

Earlier in the day, senior journalist Nadarajah Guruparan, who disappeared mysteriously on Tuesday morning, surfaced in an equally intriguing manner in the early hours of Wednesday. He told the police that he was taken away in a van blindfolding and was freed blindfolded in the early hours.

Police said that further investigations would continue based on certain facts revealed by Mr Guruparan. Mr. Guruparan was a member of the student wing of the People's Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam during 1980's and later withdrew from the organisation and entered journalism.