Lanka in talks with India to extradite criminal wanted in assassination bid on former Prez: Minister

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Colombo, Feb 8 (PTI) Sri Lanka's Public Order Minister Sarath Weerasekera on Monday said negotiations were on with Indian officials to extradite a wanted criminal who has alleged links with the assassination bid on former president Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga in 1999.

Weerasekera said Indian officials earlier in the month had informed their Lankan counterparts that 'Kimbula Alay Guna' -- identified only by his alias -- was arrested in Chennai by the Tamil Nadu Q branch Police.

The minister said talks were ongoing to extradite 'Guna' from India.

Other than the failed assassination attempt, 'Guna' is suspected to have links with drug trafficking and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

On December 18, 1999, former president Chandrika Kumaratunga, the only female president to date, sustained serious injuries when a woman suicide bomber attacked her convoy during an election rally in Colombo.

The Tamil Tigers were blamed for the attack, in which 34 people had died and scores injured.

'Guna' is suspected to have escaped to India after the attack.

Weerasekera said the government was seeking the arrest of over 100 criminals from overseas using Interpol Red Alert notices. PTI CORR IND AKJ IND IND