‘LTTE chief was looking beyond Lanka for Tamil nation’

Last Updated: Sunday, August 9, 2009 - 16:10

Colombo: Slain LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran had ambitions beyond Sri Lanka and he wanted to become the ‘King of Tamil Eelam’ with support from some elements in South India, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said.
Rajapaksa said the huge accumulation of lethal weapons by the Tamil Tiger chief suggested that Prabhakaran was looking beyond the island country to run his own nation.

"He (Prabhakaran) had a larger dream. Sri Lanka ... I don`t think (it was merely Sri Lanka). He had a larger vision where he wanted to become the king of Tamil Eelam," Rajapaksa said in an interview with a private news channel.

"Otherwise to fight our Sri Lankan Army, I don`t think he needed all these weapons. He had some sympathisers in South India. His idea was beyond Sri Lanka," he said.

Rajapaksa said the recent arrest of LTTE leader Kumaran Pathmanathan, also known as KP, was "very important" for Sri Lanka and that he will be able to reveal how the LTTE managed to procure a large number of sophisticated weapons from overseas -- be it with the assistance of the Tamil Diaspora or any other sources.

"I think that some of these leaders can answer them. I think KP can answer this question. Who got the weapon? Who gave them the money? Who spoke to them? He might be able to tell us. I think the truth of the entire network could come out. I hope at least this will happen.”

The President said the international community must help Sri Lanka crack down on the international financing arm of the LTTE.

"Terrorism is not only a problem for Sri Lanka. It is a problem for the whole world. All these countries that have been talking about terrorism must get together and stop this."

He said it was the responsibility of all countries to combat terror, be it under "Rajapaksa model" or "Bush model".

In the interview, the transcripts of which were made available here, the President reiterated that the solution to the ethnic issue in Sri Lanka should be a "home-grown solution" and not one that is formulated on the basis on solutions from other countries.

"Devolution (of power to provinces) can be done. We have that in our constitution. We want to introduce a new chamber to share power with the minorities and the provinces."

Rajapaksa said the idea of a second chamber of Parliament was still in an evolving stage and that he would hold consultations with the Opposition and others to take forward the concept.

"Federalism is out in Sri Lanka. We are not talking about federalism," the President added.

Rajapaksa also said that Sri Lanka has to depend on foreign nations, be it China or Pakistan, for development of the country despite reported concerns of Indian government.

In fact, some section of the Opposition in Sri Lanka had said that he was favouring India, he said.

The President also invited investments from India into Sri Lanka.

Bureau Report

First Published: Sunday, August 9, 2009 - 16:10

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