Despite Interpol itself denying reports of the arrest of LTTE kingpin Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP, a Government Minister yesterday claimed he was arrested and his extradition had been sought through the Foreign Ministry. `According to immigration records of the past two years, there is no record of him entering the country,` Thai Interpol Chief Col. Apichart Suribunya, told the Associated Press on Tuesday, adding there had been no arrests of Sri Lankans in the past three to four days.However addressing the media at the Information Department yesterday, Minister Gamini Lokuge said the Foreign Ministry has already requested Interpol to make arrangements to deport KP to Sri Lanka.
`This man is wanted not only by the Sri Lankan Government but by many other countries and the world`s top police agency, Interpol,` Minister Lokuge said.
When told by the Daily Mirror that the arrest of KP had been denied by the Thai Government, Minister Lokuge said the arrest has nothing to do with the Thai government as it was the work of Interpol.
The militant is being kept by the world police body in Thailand, he said.
Asked whether the Sri Lanka Government was going to make a request to the Thai Government to deport him, he said a formal request was to be made by the Foreign Ministry.
`But it takes time for a country-to-country deportation as it will have to be carried out according to the treaties existing between the two governments. If there was no deportation treaty between Sri Lanka and Thailand it would be a problem,` he said.
Meanwhile, Thai police was quoted by Reuters yesterday as saying there was no truth in reports triggered by an allegation on a Sri Lankan Government website that a top Tamil Tiger leader had been arrested in Bangkok.
`I`ve checked with related police bureaux -- the Immigration Police, the Metropolitan Police and the Special Branch. There has been no report of a Tiger rebel arrested in Bangkok,` national police spokesman Lieutenant-General Ronnarong Youngyuen said. `If we`d arrested him, we would have made good publicity out of it,` he told Reuters.
The Sri Lankan Defence Ministry site at www.defence.lk said `reliable sources from Thailand reveal that LTTE`s chief for cross border terrorist activities, Kumaran Padmanadan alias KP has been arrested in Bangkok.`