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Sinhala politicians condemn 'pro-LTTE' statement by Tamil UNP minister

Sinhala MPs and politicians have condemned the Tamil UNP state minister, Vijayakala Maheswaran, who reportedly said last week the LTTE was needed in the North-East to prevent the rising violence and anti-social behaviour that is taking place in the region. 

The State Minister of Defence, Ruwan Wijewardene said he abhorred her statement and warned that legal action could be taken. 

"As a people's representative Ms. Maheshwaran should know better than to make such an irresponsible statement which could be construed as one threatening the security interests of Sri Lanka and that it could warrant legal action," Mr Wijewardene was reported as saying. 

The JVP said her statement was evidence of the breakdown of law and order, calling on the government to take action. 

“The government has to take the responsibility for the statement made by Ms. Maheswaran as it is the government which had allowed the rule of law to breakdown,” the JVP MP, Vijitha Herath told reporters, adding that she should be made to apologise to the 'nation' “because her statement is against the state."

The UNP party backbenchers have called for her to be suspended. Meanwhile the party spokesperson, Harin Fernando said yesterday that the party is to undertake a disciplinary hearing.  

"We in the UNP do not want to see another Prabhakaran emerging in the North and neither do we want to see a Hitler coming out of the South,” he added in reference to comments made by a senior Buddhist monk calling for Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to take a leading role in politics. 

Ms Maheswaran has denied the statement as 'pro-LTTE' in a telephone call with the Deputy Minister of Social Empowerment.

"Ayoo, Who said that lie. What I said was that we did not have any problems those days," she was quoted as saying during the phone call, referring to the rise in incidents of rape of young women and girls.