B. Muralidhar Reddy

COLOMBO: Hours before Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa was due to address the United Nations General Assembly, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has said that it expected the international community “to provide appropriate opportunities to the Tamil people to express their aspirations, as have been given to the people of East Timor and Kosovo”.

In a statement, the LTTE accused the Rajapaksa government of having launched an all-out offensive against the Tamil people and urged the international community “to recognise the concept of the sovereignty of the Tamil people, and support the peace process in accordance with this principle”.

The LTTE’s demands came amid reports of intensified battles along the Forward Defence Lines (FDLs) in the north and little hope of talks between the government and the Tigers in the near future.

It said it chose to address the international community through a statement as the organisation and “Tamil people are denied a fair chance to interact directly”.

Indications are Mr. Rajapaksa would deal with the issues raised by the LTTE at the U.N. General Assembly.

Separately, the military claimed that a lady lecturer of the University of Jaffna and a government officer were killed in a claymore mine explosion carried out by the LTTE on Tuesday morning in Jaffna.