Lankan Tamil politician asks Rajapaksa government to return seized gold, jewels

Colombo, Oct. 23 (ANI): A Sri Lankan Tamil politician has demanded that the Mahinda Rajapaksa Government return gold and jewels seized during the final stages of the war against Tamil Tiger rebels last year.

Mano Ganesan claimed that at least 110 kilograms of gold and jewels had been seized from fleeing Tamil refugees from the Wanni region of Sri Lanka. He said the value of the seized jewels was an estimated 4.4 million dollars.

They have been handed over to the country's central bank, the BBC quoted reports, as saying.

Ganesan, who also leads a civil rights group, has demanded return of the jewels to the rightful owners, after proper verification.

He told the BBC Tamil news service that the jewels "must have been picked up from the 'bank' run by the Tamil Tigers".

Tamil people, especially the poor, had reportedly pledged their jewels with a bank run by the Tigers for their emergency needs, he said.

He said the government had detained nearly 8,000 former rebels and leaders, including those who ran the "bank". (ANI)

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