Union Home Minister P Chidambaram has said slain LTTE leader V Prabhakaran would have been "Mudisooda Mannan" (uncrowned monarch) of the northern and eastern provinces of Sri Lanka had he accepted the 1987 Indo-Sri Lankan agreement as requested by former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
Addressing a public meeting in Virudhunagar on Saturday night, Chidambaram said he had met Prabhakaran and talked with him for hours. "He (Prabhakaran) was not our enemy. We were opposed to the path chosen by him."
Virudhunagar is the home constituency of MDMK chief Vaiko, a known LTTE supporter. Vaiko was defeated by Congress nominee Manick Tagore by 15,000 votes in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.
Chidambaram said a country needs peace for development.
"Violence and rioting will not develop a country." There had been heavy loss of lives and properties in Sri Lanka (during the war against the LTTE).
Claiming that peace had returned to the island nation, he said India had given Rs 3,600 crore for the benefit of the internally displaced Tamils. The government had also allocated Rs 1,000 crore for the construction of 50,000 houses in northern Sri Lanka.
The Home Minister said efforts are underway to renovate Kangesanthurai port and repair Palali airport.
He said he was confident that in another two years, 2.5 lakh displaced Tamils would get their houses and they would be rehabilitated.
Chidambaram was participating in the 108th birth anniversary celebrations of former Chief Minister Kamaraj and 125th anniversary of the Congress party.