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‘We can crush the LTTE’

world Updated: Sep 18, 2008 01:19 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times
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It was supposed to be a hardboiled question-answer session with President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Monday evening. But the flamboyant President waltzed in an hour-late, said he was confident about “crushing the LTTE” but talking to the Tamil community and joked about his political opponents including former PM Ranil Wickeramasinghe.

In the end, Rajapaksa had deftly tackled uneasy questions, often telling the journalist with a chuckle and a pat: “You know it better than I do.’’

Rajapaksa defended the defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s statement that migrants to Colombo who do not have anything to do should leave. “See, what happened in Delhi,’’ Rajapaksa said referring to the blasts in New Delhi.

On signing the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with India, he said Sri Lanka “was very cautious about it’’ after the private sector raised questions on its implications. “We are discussing with the private sector because they raised objections,’’ he said.