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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2759

War or peace is up to the Tigers – President Mahinda Rajapakse

Colombo, 19 July, (Asiantribune.com): President Mahinda Rajapakse told the media that the choice of opting for war or peace was in the hands of the Tamil Tigers.Mahinda Rajapakse: “War or peace, we are ready. It is in their hands. It is now up to the Tigers to decide which path they want to tread.” Mahinda Rajapakse: “War or peace, we are ready. It is in their hands. It is now up to the Tigers to decide which path they want to tread.”

He was responding to question as to whether the government would now send its forces to battle in north after winning the east.

“War or peace, we are ready. It is in their hands. It is now up to the Tigers to decide which path they want to tread,” President Rajapaksa told the Daily News, the flagship of the state media.

He added: “We have never hesitated to negotiate and we never left the negotiating table. It was the LTTE which always abandoned talks midway. This happened in Geneva, Oslo and on many other occasions. It is the LTTE which has no desire for peace.”

He said the fall of Thoppigala in the East marked a new era for the people of the East who were oppressed by the LTTE.

“Our immediate priority is establishing civil administration in the area. We will develop infrastructure facilities, health, education and welfare measures. Later on we will be holding local and provincial elections so that Easterners can elect their own representatives. Such democratic rights were stifled by the LTTE,” he said.

The President will elaborate on these issues when he addresses the nation today at the victory celebrations held at Independence Square. Colombo. The Army Commander Lt.-Gen. Sarath Fonseka will hand over to him ceremonially a sannasa (a parchment) containing the message of victory in the east.

Celebrations will also be held in other parts of the island to honour the soldiers who sacrificed their lives to raise the flag over Toppigala – the last bastion of the Tigers.

- Asian Tribune -

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