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LTTE regrets killing Rajiv Gandhi

Source: PTI
Last updated on: June 28, 2006 20:03 IST
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Urging India to 'put behind' Rajiv Gandhi's assassination by being 'magnanimous,' the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam on Tuesday asked it to approach the Tamil ethnic issue in a 'different perspective' as a cloud of a major war loomed large over Sri Lanka.

The LTTE, held responsible for the assassination, said it 'deeply regrets' the 'monumental historical tragedy'.

However, Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma rejected the Tamil rebel group's plea, saying forgiving the LTTE for the 'dastardly crime' would 'tantamount to endorsing the philosophy of terror, violence and political assassinations.'

Talking about Rajiv's assassination on May 21, 1991, LTTE's London-based Chief Negotiator Anton Balasingham told television channel NDTV: "As far as that event is concerned, I would say it is a great tragedy, a monumental historical tragedy which we deeply regret."

He asked the India government and the people of India to be magnanimous to put the past behind and to approach the ethnic question in a different perspective.

"The remarks by Balasingham are a confession by the rebel group for its complicity in Rajiv's assassination, which was a well-known fact over the last 15 years and LTTE cadres had been convicted in the case," Sharma said.

On LTTE's plea that India put the past behind, the minister said, "The people of India cannot forget the dastardly crime, which was committed by the LTTE or at their behest."

"The LTTE still continues to believe in politics of terror and violence," he added.

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