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Sri Lanka Naval officers detained over Tamil politician murder

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Colombo: Three Sri Lankan Navy personnel, including two officers, have been detained by the police here under anti-terrorism act for the alleged murder of a popular Tamil lawmaker in 2006 that snowballed into a major human rights issue for the then government.

Nadarajah Raviraj, 44, was gunned down in his car along with his police guard as he left his residence here in November 2006. Raviraj was a popular Tamil politician with an ability to communicate with the Sinhala majority and was a rising star in the main Tamil party, Tamil National Alliance.

A former mayor of Jaffna and a lawyer by profession, Raviraj openly spoke out against the conflict between the military and LTTE in the country’s north and east.

Police spokesman ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said that the three Navy personnel are now being questioned over the 2006 murder.

“These three officers are being detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. They are being questioned over Raviraj’s killing, as well as killing the police officer who was present with the MP when he was shot. The detained suspects are also being questioned on the abductions and disappearances of several young men,” he said.

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