Arrested ex-Women Sea Tiger chief has French connection



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By Shamindra Ferdinando


Women Sea Tigers parade on M’tivu coast

Ex-senior Sea Tiger cadre Jeyaganesh Murugesu Pakeerathy (41), who was taken into custody at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) on Monday (2) has been granted French permanent resident status.


The Terrorist Investigation Department (TID) arrested her soon after her arrival at the airport to leave for France. Pakeerathy is a mother of an eight-year-old child.


Authoritative sources told The Island that having permanent residence is a privileged status which allowed a recipient to live in France indefinitely. Sources said that Pakeerathy carried a Sri Lankan passport though her husband Subramaniyam Jeyaganesh alias Samiraj had received French citizenship.


Those having French permanent residence aren’t eligible to exercise franchise as French citizens though they are entitled to a range of facilities available to natives.


Responding to a query, a senior official alleged that Samiraj had been one of the most influential LTTE operatives in France having connections within the EU. Samiraj had been a major fund collector during the war, sources said, alleging that French authorities had obviously ignored their LTTE links.


Pakeerathy had commanded Women’s Sea Tiger wing from 1997 to 2000 and left the country in 2005 before the eruption of Eelam war IV. She returned to Sri Lanka on February 9, 2015 and moved to the Vanni before arriving at the BIA to leave the country.


Having produced Pakeerathy at the Colombo Magistrate’s court on March 2, the TID obtained authorization to detain her for a 72-hour period.


The French embassy indicated yesterday that it wasn’t aware of Pakeerathy’s French status.


Authoritative sources said that even Pakeerathy could be among those who had been listed missing during the conflict. Sources said that the French embassy would have to be contacted to verify Pakeerathy’s status.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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