Four others were also released.
A Sri Lankan court on Wednesday acquitted a rebel-turned-lawmaker of charges that he was involved in the killing of an ethnic Tamil legislator at the height of the island’s long civil war.
The court in the eastern town of Batticaloa released Sivanesathurai Chandarakanthan, who won a seat while in detention in last August’s Parliamentary election, representing a party that backs President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Four others were also released.
The Attorney General’s Department told the court earlier this week that it does not intend to continue the case against Chandrakanthan.
Chandrakanthan was a former child soldier in the Tamil Tiger rebel group that fought a quarter-century civil war to create an independent state for Sri Lanka’s ethnic Tamil minority in the island’s north and east.
He later joined a renegade faction that emerged from the biggest split in the rebel group in 2004 and functioned as a paramilitary group supporting government forces.
His faction played a key role in the defeat of the Tamil Tigers in the eastern province, a precursor to their total rout in 2009. Allegations of abductions, torture and killings against his faction have never been properly investigated.
He then entered electoral politics and became the government-backed chief minister of Eastern Province.
With the election defeat of then-President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the elder brother of the current president, Chandrakanthan was arrested and charged with involvement in the shooting death of rebel-backed Tamil lawmaker Joseph Pararajasingham during the midnight Christmas service at a church in Batticaloa in 2005.
You have reached your limit for free articles this month.
Subscription Benefits Include
Find mobile-friendly version of articles from the day’s newspaper in one easy-to-read list.
Enjoy reading as many articles as you wish without any limitations.
A select list of articles that match your interests and tastes.
Move smoothly between articles as our pages load instantly.
A one-stop-shop for seeing the latest updates, and managing your preferences.
We brief you on the latest and most important developments, three times a day.
Support Quality Journalism.
*Our Digital Subscription plans do not currently include the e-paper, crossword and print.
A letter from the Editor
Your support for our journalism is invaluable. It’s a support for truth and fairness in journalism. It has helped us keep apace with events and happenings.
The Hindu has always stood for journalism that is in the public interest. At this difficult time, it becomes even more important that we have access to information that has a bearing on our health and well-being, our lives, and livelihoods. As a subscriber, you are not only a beneficiary of our work but also its enabler.
We also reiterate here the promise that our team of reporters, copy editors, fact-checkers, designers, and photographers will deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda.