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Sri Lankan party leader extradited on request of Australia

(Xinhua)

08:36, April 12, 2012

COLOMBO, April 11 (Xinhua) -- The Sri Lankan government said on Wednesday that the country's newly formed Marxist party leader who appeared in police after alleged abduction was immediately extradited on the request of Australia.

Cabinet spokesman Laxman Yapa Abeywardhana said legal action against the proclaimed leader of the Frontline Socialist Party Premakumar Gunaratnam could not be taken as the Australian government directly interfered and urged to release him as he was an Australian citizen.

"The Australian government was behind him and Sri Lanka was informed about his abduction and wide publicity had been given to his disappearance by the Australian media," Abeywardhana said.

He said Sri Lanka didn't want to create a negative opinion on itself by keeping him further for legal inquiries.

The cabinet spokesman said Gunaratnam holds several passports under different names and his name would be blacklisted by the Emigration Department.

Gunaratnam was found this Tuesday after went missing last weekend just a couple of days before he launched a new socialist political party in Colombo.

The Australian High Commission had requested the Sri Lankan Defense Ministry to assist them to locate the missing person.

However the Defense Ministry had said there were no records to indicate an individual by the name of Premkumar Gunaratnam had entered the country from Australia.

The government had also denied claims made by Gunaratnam's family that the security forces had abducted him.

Gunaratnam was a former member of the Marxist People's Liberation Front, a leading opposition political party in Sri Lanka.

Gunaratnam and a few others split from the People's Liberation Front, also known as the JVP, following a rift with the party leadership.

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