LTTE should apologise in court: Lanka
The Interpol is still on a hunt for LTTE chief Prabhakaran and his aide Pottu Amman, reports PK Balachandran.india Updated: Jun 28, 2006 16:25 IST
The Sri Lankan government has taken LTTE negotiator Anton Balasingham's "categorical apology" for the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi with a pinch of salt.
Government spokesman Keheliya Rambukwela told the media here on Tuesday, that Sri Lanka would take the apology "seriously".
But at the same time, it was aware that the LTTE had the habit of changing its stand on issues from time to time to suit the need of the hour.
If indeed, the LTTE wanted to apologise for Rajiv Gandhi's assassination, it should say that publicly in court where there was a pending criminal case against the Tiger chieftain Velupillai Prabhakaran, the Sri Lankan government spokesman said.
Prabhakaran and his Intelligence Chief Pottu Amman, who are the first and second accused in the case, are still "proclaimed offenders" and the Interpol has been on the hunt for them.
Rambukwela said that Balasingham himself had been changing his stand on the assassination.
At one of the peace talks sessions in Oslo in 2002, he had "categorically" denied any involvement, and had stormed out of the room looking "very angry."
"Changing the stand to suit circumstances is a fundamental attribute of terrorist groups. But a state or government cannot do that," Rambukwela said.
The Secretary General of the government Peace Secretariat Dr Palitha Kohona described Balasingham's "apology" as a "political ploy" to prevent India from taking any decisions which might affect the LTTE adversely.
Asked to comment on Balasingham's plea that India should take an active part in bringing peace to Sri Lanka, government spokesman Rambukwela said that the Sri Lankan government was for India's active involvement.
He said that India was at the Geneva I talks in February, as an observer. Sri Lanka wanted it to be an observer in Geneva II also. But Geneva II never took place.
"Sri Lanka in fact wants to expand the observer and monitoring groups," the spokesman said.