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Rajapakse assures Tamil community of equal status

February 04, 2009 22:48 IST

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Making a conscious effort to reach out to the minority Tamils, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse on Wednesday used Tamil language to assure them of equal status, saying "We all were born to the same mother".

During his nationally televised address on the country's 61st independence day, he broke into Tamil, assuring the people of the community in the embattled north and other parts of the country of their well-being and equality in status.

"It is my responsibility as the head of the state to take care of all sections of people," he said.

Later, switching over to Sinhala, Rajapakse said that the nation expected a new future, and a future of change, "A future where the unpleasant experiences that we jointly faced in the recent past are not repeated."

"It is time to stop the refrain that we cannot and we don't have. The remnants and leftovers of subjugation should be erased from our minds," Rajapakse said.

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