Prof Dr. P. Ramasamy said that the false claims were purposely made due to his statements against controversial Indian Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik. NSTP/SHAHNAZ FAZLIE SHAHRIZAL

GEORGE TOWN: Penang Deputy Chief Minister II Dr P Ramasamy has hit back at critics, who linked him with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Sri Lanka.

He said that the false claims were purposely made due to his statements against controversial Indian Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik.

While he has denied any direct ties to the group, Ramasamy again reiterates that he merely assisted in peace talks between the Sri Lankan government and the alleged terrorist group.

“All these accusations against me for being part of LTTE are false. I was invited as a panelist in a constitutional affairs committee comprising of university representatives, international organisations to restore peace mediated by Norway back in 2003.

“The efforts failed and eventually LTTE was destroyed in 2009,” he said in a press statement today.

The LTTE, founded in northeastern Sri Lanka in 1976, waged a secessionist insurgency for a Tamil state in the South Asian country and was declared a terrorist organisation by the United Nations (UN).

Recently, Ramasamy caused controversy when he uploaded a picture of himself posing with Tamil Nadu politician and vocal LTTE supporter V. Gopalasamy, or Vaiko, onto his Facebook page.

The picture was taken when Vaiko attended a wedding in Penang.

In June last year, Vaiko was detained by Immigration officers at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and barred from entering the country.

A number of police reports were lodged against Ramasamy and his statement was recently recorded by the police to facilitate investigation.

DAP also called on Ramasamy to explain to the party the allegations connecting him to the​ LTTE group.​

During the state executive councillor meeting today, he had also explained the matter to the state government over the purported links with the terrorist group.