//If India can pardon Sikhs and RSS why not us, asks LTTE

If India can pardon Sikhs and RSS why not us, asks LTTE

PK Balachandran, Hindustan Times,

Colombo, June 29, 2006

The LTTE said on Thursday that India should let bygones be bygones and have normal relations with it, just as she had done in the case of the Sikh community and the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), from whose ranks came the killers of Indira Gandhi and Mahatma Gandhi.

"Indira Gandhi was killed by two Sikhs, and yet today, a Sikh is India's Prime Minister," pointed out Thaya Master, the outfit's media spokesman, in a telephone interview to Hindustan Times.

"The man who killed Mahatma Gandhi was linked to the RSS, and yet, the RSS is a major organisation in India today," he added.

"Likewise, in the case of the LTTE too, India should let bygones be bygones and have a normal relationship," he said.

Thaya Master was reacting to Indian Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma's statement that there was no question of forgiving the LTTE for assassinating former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.   

The LTTE's spokesman said that the Sri Lankan Tamils believed that Colombo would never meet the just demands of the Tamils, and because of this, they expected India to become pro-active and begin putting pressure on the Sri Lankan government.

"This means that India should talk to the LTTE. And to enable this, the ban on it must be lifted," Thaya Master said.

India has been having a ban on the LTTE since 1992.

"India must not give any weapons to the Sri Lankan government because these would be used against the Tamils. And this includes radars," Thaya Master said.

India recently gave radars to detect low-flying aircraft, which the LTTE is believed to have acquired for possible use in suicide missions a la 9/11.

Thaya Master denied that chief negotiator Anton Balasingham ever said in his interview to NDTV that the LTTE was apologising for the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi.

"He only said that we regret the assassination and that it was a tragedy," the media spokesman clarified.