Indonesia extradites Sri Lankan wanted in US for arms smuggling

JAKARTA, Jan 10, 2007 (AFP) – Indonesia on Wednesday deported to the United States a Sri Lankan wanted by US police for smuggling military equipment to Tamil Tiger rebels, police said. “Sri Lankan national Pratheepan Thavarajah, was today (Wednesday) extradited to the United States through the Sukarno-Hatta international airport,” a national police spokesman, Bambang Kuncoko, said.

The man was handed over to members of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation at the airport, he said.

Thavarajah, 32, was sought by US authorities after a New York court in August sentenced him in absentia to 15 years’ jail for supplying military equipment components to Tamil Tiger rebels and for bribery.

Tiger rebels have been fighting for a separate homeland in Sri Lanka in a drawn-out conflict which has killed more than 60,000 people in the past 35 years.

Interpol’s Washington bureau issued a red notice on him two days after the verdict. A red notice allows an arrest warrant to be circulated worldwide with a request that a suspect be arrested with a view to extradition.

Thavarajah was arrested as he attempted to board a flight to Kuala Lumpur at the Sukarno-Hatta airport on Januar