Senior police officer arrested over killing-fields murders

Place: Sri Lanka | Courtesy: AFP
| Date: 20000805

COLOMBO, Aug 5 (AFP) - A senior Sri Lankan police officer has been arrested in connection with extra judicial killings carried out during a leftist uprising 12 years ago, state-run media reported Saturday.

Police arrested superintendent Douglas Peiris as he returned to the country on Thursday and was under interrogation, the Daily News said, linking the officer to opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe

The newspaper said the oppostion leader had given a house to Peiris while in government.

Wickremesinghe had given evidence before a commission appointed by President Chandrika Kumaratunga to probe the alleged killings when the leftist JVP, or the People's Liberation Front, was trying to topple the government.

The Daily News said Peiris had tried to seek political asylum abroad but failed.

He was arrested at the only international airport here, the Daily News said, but state television said the man had been arrested in neighbouring India and brought here.

The arrest came ahead of a crucial vote in parliament Wednesday.

Wickremesinghe's main opposition UNP has withdrawan support to President Kumaratunga's political reform plan which goes before a parliamentary vote on Wednesday.