Tiger boss appeals for lifting ban

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By OUR BUREAU AND AGENCIES
  • Published 26.10.08
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LTTE chief V Prabhakaran. File picture

Oct. 26: Tamil Tiger chief V. Prabhakaran has urged India to lift the ban on his outfit to help “fulfil the aspirations” of the Tamil people.

“We expect that it (India) would lift the ban on our organisation and support us to fulfil the long awaited aspirations of the Tamil people,” the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam chief said in an interview.

The 53-year leader’s request came as the UPA sent foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee to Chennai to apprise Tamil Nadu chief minister M. Karunanidhi of the steps being taken for the safety of the Lankan Tamils.

In the email interview to Tamil magazine Nakkeeran, Prabhakaran conceded the Lankan forces had made inroads in Tiger strongholds but claimed they would not be able to capture administrative capital Kilinochchi.

“The Sri Lankan forces have entered parts of our homeland and are stationed in close proximity to Kilinochchi town. But capturing Kilinochchi is just a daydream of (Sri Lanka President Mahinda) Rajapaksa.”

Prabhakaran appreciated Karunanidhi’s concern for the Lankan Tamils and hailed his decision to pressure the Centre to ensure quick relief for them.

“Kalaignar is a Tamil nationalist. He has not only voiced his concern against the Sinhala state terrorism in Tamil Eelam but has also showed it in action.

“Today it makes us happy to see him taking a stance in support of the Tamils when they face untold sufferings. We expect such support in the future as well,” he said.

But he was disappointed ADMK chief Jayalalithaa had distanced herself from the issue. “Jayalalithaa had also voiced her support. If she has changed her stand now, what could we say about it?”

He repeatedly praised Tamil Nadu leaders for taking up the Lanka issue, saying the support “will definitely give us more strength”.

Prabhakaran accused the Lankan forces of “carrying out genocidal attacks on Tamils” but claimed the military had suffered “severe losses” in the attacks in northern Sri Lanka.

“The forces are carrying out indiscriminate attacks on civilian areas. More than 100,000 Tamils have fled their homes and are continuously on the move as refugees, seeking safe areas.”

The Tiger chief said he was “saddened” by reports that India was providing military equipment and training to the Lankan forces.

“The media also reported to the world that Indian experts were involved in providing training to operate the radar instrument in Vavuniya, which is very saddening.”

Asked if he saw any prospect of talks, he said all “depended on politics within the government and its military stance”.

“We do not carry out attacks on innocent Sinhala civilians. Ours is a liberation organisation fighting for the liberation of the Tamil people. We have continuously called upon the Indian political analysts and policy makers to clearly understand this.”

He waved away Rajapaksa’s comment that he could be handed over to India after his “surrender or capture”. “This is one of the many dreams of Rajapaksa.”