Colombo, September 4 (NIA): The Sri Lankan High Commissioner in Malaysia, Ibrahim Sahib Ansar, was beaten up by local pro-Tamil Tiger elements at the Kuala Lumpur airport on Sunday after he refused to divulge the whereabouts of former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa who is on a visit to Malaysia to attend a conference.
According to Daily Mirror the High Commissioner was hit hard on the head and he had to be rushed to hospital bleeding profusely. Also injured and rushed to hospital was a Second secretary in the mission. The mob got violent when Ansar asked them to find out from the police where Rajapaksa was.
For the past two days, a group of pro-Tamil Tigers Tamils have been demonstrating and burning effigies of Rajapaksa who they described as a war criminal who should not have been invited to Malaysia at all.
The attack took place when High Commissioner Ansar arrived at the airport to send off Dinesh Gunawardena, an MP belonging to the Joint Opposition led by former President and Kurunegala MP, Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Former Minister and Rajapaksa follower, Johnston Fernando, said that by the time the police arrived, the High Commissioner had been beaten up. However, none of the members of the visiting delegation was attacked, he said.
Rajapaksa is scheduled to return to Sri Lanka on Monday morning.
Foreign Ministry Lodges Strong Protest
The Sri Lankan Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed reports that the High Commissioner had been assaulted by a group of persons at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
“The Government of Sri Lanka condemns this act of violence on one of Sri Lanka’s diplomats in the strongest terms, “ the Ministry said in a statement. The High Commissioner is receiving medical attention, it added.
“The High Commission of Sri Lanka in Kuala Lumpur is coordinating with local law enforcement authorities in Malaysia and other relevant local authorities to identify perpetrators and assist with investigations. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Sri Lanka is seized of the seriousness of this incident and is taking all necessary action in this regard through diplomatic channels,” it said.
For the second day in a row, Indian Malaysians had demonstrated against Rajapaksa outside the Putra World Trade Centre in Malaysia, The Malay Mail Online reports. Numbering roughly 50 people, the non-governmental group calling itself “Protest” lobbied for the immediate deportation of Rajapaksa who was visiting in conjunction of the 9th International Conference of Asian Political Parties.
“Tamils in Malaysia are strongly protesting the invitation extended to the War Criminal who had committed numerous crimes against humanity and demand for his immediate deportation,” the group’s coordinator, Satees Muniandy, said in a statement.
The group carried several effigies of Rajapaksa made of cloth and wood and on which they stuck posters of his face, which they then set on fire and watched until they had burnt to ashes. They later stomped on the remnants. Police personnel on security duty outside the trade centre kept an eye on the demonstrators but made no move to stop their antics, not even when the protesters sat on the road and blocked cars from driving in for a good 15 minutes, The Malay Mail Online said.
The Tamils have been angry with Rajapaksa for decimating the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Eelam War IV which was fought in North and East Sri Lanka between 2006 and 2009. Anywhere between 10,000 and 40,000 Tamils were killed and more than 5000 government troops lost their lives in the war.