New Delhi/Colombo: In remarks that are bound to create controversy, Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy has said that Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa should be awarded India’s highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna, for exterminating LTTE.
In an interview to a newspaper, Swamy said since LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) was an anti-India outfit and President Rajapaksa’s government eliminated it, he deserves India’s highest honour.
So far, only two non-nationals - Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (1987) and Nelson Mandela (1990) – have been awarded Bharat Ratna.
Swamy also hit out at “Sonia Gandhi and her Italian family” for providing covert support to the LTTE.
Swamy, a known opponent of the LTTE, gave the interview during a private visit to the island nation.
In remarks made separately, Swamy had described President Rajapaksa as a "determined and resolute leader", adding the Tamils must be made to feel that the defeat of the LTTE was not the defeat of the Tamils as a minority in the country.