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Rajapaksa pays Deepavali visit to paramilitary leader jailed for Tamil MP’s assassination

Former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa paid a Deepavali visit to Batticaloa prison to see his associate and paramilitary leader Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan, who is currently in remand for the 2005 assassination of Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP Joseph Pararajasingham.

Pillayan was a member of the LTTE before he left the organisation with his then-superior Karuna, to join the government's side. The party that they formed, the TMVP, which acted with the assistance of the Sri Lankan military, stands accused of several crimes, including extrajudicial killings and torture.

In August, members of Rajapaksa’s party called on the Sri Lankan government to secure Pillayan’s release, claiming that he had left behind his past ‘terrorist activities’ to enter national politics.

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