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India must recognise our freedom struggle: LTTE
June 22, 2006 02:21 IST
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam on Wednesday said it wanted India to "accept and recognise the freedom struggle of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka and extend its moral support" by condemning the "atrocities"' of the Lankan government.
"The government of India should accept and recognise our liberation struggle, extend its moral support and condemn the atrocities of the Sri Lankan state. It is the stand of the LTTE as well as the desire of our people," LTTE's political wing head S P Thamilselvan told reporters in the rebel-held Kilinochchi on Wednesday after a crucial meeting with the Norwegian facilitators.
The LTTE is banned as a terrorist organisation in India following the assassination of former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, and its reaction has come at a time when Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera is due to visit India.
Over 3,000 Sri Lankan refugees have already landed in Tamil Nadu during the past couple of months following fresh truce-related violence, which has claimed the lives of over 800 people, mostly civilians since December 2005.
Meanwhile, foreign ministers of five Nordic countries such as Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Iceland, which are effectively monitoring the ceasefire agreement between the government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE since February 2002, are scheduled to meet in Oslo on June 29 to discuss their future contribution in monitoring the ceasefire in the country.
The meeting comes in the wake of the request by LTTE's political wing head to the Norwegian ambassador at a meeting in Kilinochchi to remove soon the members of Denmark, Finland and Sweden from the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission, questioning their neutrality following the European Union ban on the rebel outfit in May.
Thamilselvan has explained to the Norwegian ambassador the reasons behind the LTTE position for requesting the EU monitors in the SLMM to be replaced and said it would be difficult to wait for a long period asked by Norway to find replacements for the SLMM monitors from EU countries.