New Delhi, Jun 10: While the Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapaksa's visit to India stirred a storm in the Tamil community, a new row has emerged over one of his ministers.
Sri Lankan minister for traditional industries and small enterprises Douglas Devananda, who was part of Rajapaksa's delegation, is a proclaimed offender in India.
But, even though he is an offender, he can not be arrested as he is a state guest and he is enjoying full state protocol.
"I am not aware that I am a proclaimed offender. If informed legally about it, I will respond to the case. I have been coming to India for medical and personal reasons. The Indo-Sri Lanka accord of 1987 had pardoned several Tamil Sri Lankan," Devnanda told a leading TV news channel, CNN-IBN.
The Sri Lankan minister was declared an offender by a Chennai court for murder and rioting in Chennai in 1986. Before this, he was also suspected to have gone underground in 1994.
Devanada was a member of a separatist group in Sri Lanka in the 1980s and 1990s.
On Wednesday, Jun 9, an advocate filed a PIL with the Madras High Court seeking arrest of Devananda.
The four-day visit of the Lankan President is scheduled to end on Friday, Jun 11, which is when he will be flying back to Columbo.