Wednesday, April 29, 2009

We want to catch LTTE chief alive: Rajapaksa

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said Colombo would extradite LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran, if caught alive, to India but after first putting him through trial in his country. In an exclusive interview to CNN-IBN, Rajapaksa also said that Sri Lanka will immediately stop air strikes and use of heavy weapons in the war zone but he made it clear that it was not a ceasefire.

CNN-IBN: So have you instructed your army to ceasefire?

Rajapaksa: No. It is not ceasefire. We are freeing the people who are kept there as hostages. That is my duty. So the army is now only helping the civilians. We want to get the civilians out from them. It was at the Security Council where we finally thought that we have to do this because for the first time we made a statement saying that we are not using heavy weapons and attacks. An area which was called a no-fire zone was declared by the army on a day-to-day basis. So we managed to send them (civillians) to the no-fire zone. And the LTTE also took them there thinking that they can escape from the sea. But now they realised that they can't move forward. But still they are using heavy weapons inside. They have heavy weapons inside the no-fire zone.

CNN-IBN: So the hostage rescue operation continues?

Rajapaksa: Continues. Yes.

>> Full Interview