President repeats call to LTTE End violence, enter democracy
‘Military action aimed only at Tigers’ :
INDIA: President Mahinda Rajapaksa has again urged Velupillai
Prabhakaran and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to give up
violence in the interest of the Tamils of the country and enter into
negotiations with the Government.
In an interview with the Chennai-based Tamil Language bi-weekly
magazine Junior Vikatan (November 23 issue) he said the “LTTE uses such
ceasefires to force unwilling civilians and also conscript children into
its fighting cadre. It has also been established, that the LTTE uses the
ceasefire period to eliminate the alternate Tamil political voices. My
Government does not wish to commit the same mistake of the past and this
stance has in no way hampered our determination and commitment to find a
political solution to the conflict”.
“I once again appeal to the LTTE to denounce violence in the interest
and of the welfare of the Tamil people and enter the non violent path of
democracy,” he told the interviewer.
“Our military actions are strictly directed at the LTTE terrorists
and not against the Tamil people. However, it has been internationally
acknowledged that the LTTE was forcibly using the civilian as human
shields and is not allowing them to move into safer areas, especially
the Safe Corridor towards South.”
The President recalled that he was the first leader to address the
United Nations Assembly this year in Tamil language. “I also addressed
our Parliament in Tamil. I have never been against Tamils”.
Referring to the TMVP leader Vinayagamoorthi Muralitharan, he said
Muralitharan has chosen the path of democracy along with many other
militants. This step should be appreciated as a positive move towards
democracy, which will benefit the Tamil people.
This is also a good example which I hope Mr. Prabhakaran will
consider at least at this late stage in the interest of the Tamil
community in Sri Lanka.
He noted that 52 per cent of the Sri Lankan Tamils are living outside
the Northern part of Sri Lanka among the Sinhalese and Muslim
He said the Government rejected the LTTE’s ceasefire call based on
the past track record of the LTTE, which is known for announcing and
requesting for ceasefire in order to re-arm and re-group whenever they
have been militarily weakened.
“There is a notion among certain section of people in Tamil Nadu that
what is happening at present in Sri Lanka as ‘genocide’. It is
actually the LTTE which carried out an ethnic cleansing of the
Sinhala and Tamil speaking Muslims from the Northern part of Sri Lanka
in 1990. The LTTE has killed more Tamil leaders.”
He said the air capability of the LTTE is a challenge not only to Sri
Lanka but also to all the countries in the South Asian region. The full
interview will be published tomorrow.