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By crushing Tamil Tigers, I fought India's war: Rajapaksa

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa says that he fought India's war by crushing the Tamil Tigers. He also added that his war is part of the South Asian campaign against terrorism. Sutirtho Patranobis reports.
Hindustan Times | By Sutirtho Patranobis, Colombo
UPDATED ON MAY 29, 2009 08:43 PM IST

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said that he has fought India’s war by militarily ending the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

"I think my war is part of the South Asian campaign against terrorism. In fact, by eliminating the LTTE militarily, I have fought India's war," Rajapaksa said.

Rajapaksa thanked the Indian government for its support in the war against the Tamil rebels. He made particular reference to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

"My victory coincided with her (Sonia's) electoral victory. I have written to her congratulating her on winning the elections. India's moral support during the war was most important," Rajapaksawas quoted by The Week magazine as having said.

Rajapaksa said, "nothing is more important for me than what India thinks."

The President said he was congratulated by many politicians in Tamil Nadu after the war was reported to be over. "Look at the fate of LTTE supporters in Tamil Nadu in the elections. All those who supported the Tigers have been routed. The people of Tamil Nadu have given these terror supporters a fitting reply," he said.

On the path after the war, he said the government would devise a 'homegrown' political solution to resolve the decades-old ethnic problem in the country.

"The India-Lanka accord led to the 13th amendment to the Sri Lankan constitution. In that way the home-grown approach covers the position of India, too. This time, a political solution will be devised after taking every shade of Sri Lankan opinion into consideration," he said, adding that "since peace is in the interest of Sri Lanka, we have to sit down and decide on its content ourselves."

Rajapaksa said he wants to have friends all over South Asia. 'I find it all right to have good ties with Pakistan also,' he said when pointed out that he has engaged antagonistic parties like the Israelis and the Palestinians and India and Pakistan.

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