Rajiv`s assassination big mistake: Ex-LTTE leader

The assassination of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was a big mistake by the LTTE, former Tamil Tiger commander Karuna Amman has said.

Colombo: The assassination of former
Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was a big mistake by the
LTTE, former Tamil Tiger commander Karuna Amman has said.

Vinyagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman, who is
also the deputy minister of resettlement in the Sri Lankan
government, today told a top panel looking into events during
the ethnic war, that he received arms training in India in
early 1980s when he was with the LTTE.

The government set up the `Lessons Learnt and
Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) to look into events during
the ethnic war and make recommendations to avoid such
repetition.

Things changed when the former Indian Prime Minister
was assassinated by the LTTE. India had then turned against
the LTTE and banned it, Karuna said.

He said that he joined the LTTE after ethnic riots in
1983 and denied responsibility for attacking religious places
and massacring 600 policemen surrendered to the LTTE in the
East.

Karuna`s one time ally and now Eastern Province Chief
Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan had
claimed on an earlier occasion before the LLRC that Karuna was
responsible for the massacre.

The former LTTE eastern commander, who was one time
confidante of the leader of the LTTE Velupillai Pirabhakaran,
said that the LTTE entered in to the ceasefire agreement with
the government in 2002 not to search for peace but as a tactic
to cover up the organization`s military weaknesses.

He alleged the Norway, TRO (Tamil Rehabilitation
Orgnaisation) and the Tamil diaspora donated money to the LTTE
which they used for purchasing arms.

Karuna, who is also a vice president of the Sri Lanka
Freedom Party, the main party in the ruling coalition, praised
President Mahinda Rajapksha for defeating the LTTE.

He emphasised the need for a political solution for
ethnic minority Tamils but said the provincial council doesn`t
need police powers, which will cause suspicions among the
majority Sinhala community.

The LTTE had launched their armed struggle to create
an independent homeland for Sri Lanka’s Tamils to protect them
from alleged discrimination at the hands of the ethnic
Sinhalese majority.

Government forces crushed the rebels in May last year,
ending three decades of civil war that killed between 80,000
and 100,000 people.

-PTI

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