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Ceasefire pact defunct: Prabhakaran

The LTTE chief blames Lankan Govt for failing to resolve the demand for a Tamil homeland through negotiations.

india Updated: Nov 28, 2006 17:07 IST

Top Tamil Tiger rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran said on Monday that the 2002 ceasefire with Sri Lanka was "defunct" and blamed the government for failing to resolve the demand for a Tamil homeland through negotiations.

He said an independent Tamil state is the only solution.

"The Rajapaksa regime hopes to decide the fate of the Tamil nation using its military power.

It wants to occupy the Tamil land and then force an unacceptable solution on the Tamils," Prabhakaran said in his annual policy speech, referring to President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Prabhakaran also said the cease-fire was "defunct." It was not immediately clear if the statement meant that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam will pull out of the truce that stopped the two-decade civil war, which claimed at least 65,000 lives.

"It is now crystal clear that the Sinhala leaders will never put forward a just resolution to the Tamil national question ...

The uncompromising stance of Sinhala chauvinism has left us with no other option but an independent state for the people of Tamil Eelam," he said, referring to the majority Sinhalese who dominate the government and the military.

Last year, Prabhakaran had hinted that he was ready to enter a negotiated peace process, and gave Rajapaksa one year to resolve Tamil demands for self-rule in the country's north and east.

But the year saw a sharp escalation in open conflict, with more than 3,500 fighters and civilians dying in aerial bombings, assassinations, bomb attacks and daily skirmishes, according to government figures.

First Published: Nov 27, 2006 12:03 IST