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Rajapaksa offers talks with Tigers

Offering unconditional talks, Mahinda says he is not expecting a military solution, reports PK Balachandran.

india Updated: Feb 03, 2007 22:44 IST

Taking a bold step towards peace, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Saturday invited the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for "unconditional" talks.

Speaking to troops in Vaharai in eastern Sri Lanka, which was captured from the LTTE last month, the president said that he did not expect any military solution to the ethnic problem and that proposals for a political solution would be presented "soon" by all the democratic forces in the country.

A statement issued by the Presidential Secretariat said that Rajapaksa appealed to the international community to bring pressure on the LTTE to go for a negotiated settlement.

Rajapaksa vowed not to allow "terrorists" to raise their heads again in the east and promised to make eastern Sri Lanka a place where all communities could live in peace and harmony.

First Published: Feb 03, 2007 22:32 IST