Special Correspondent

"LTTE stands globally isolated," he says

Says LTTE is part of the strife in Sri Lanka, never a part of the solutionAssassination "an open challenge to the sovereignty and self-respect of India""Send commando unit to bring Prabakaran, aides to trial in India"

CHENNAI: Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy on Wednesday ridiculed the observations of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam's chief negotiator, Anton Balasingham, on the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in May 1991.

In a statement here, Dr. Swamy termed Mr. Balasingham's remarks as "incredibly stupid and an insult to the nation." His description of the assassination as a monumental historical tragedy was silly and might be due to the "almost complete international isolation of his murderous organisation."

Blames LTTE

Holding the LTTE responsible for the killing of "numerous pro-Indian Tamil political leaders," Dr. Swamy claimed that even now, the LTTE maintained a hit-list of all those who refused to bow to its "murderous dictates."

Dr. Swamy said the time had come to recognise that "the LTTE is part of the problem of the strife in Sri Lanka and can never be a part of the solution." In a plural polity and democracy, terrorist organisations such as the LTTE had no place. The assassination was not a tragedy but a "dastardly murder and an open challenge to the sovereignty and self-respect of India," he added.

He urged the Congress-led Central Government to send a commando unit to hunt for LTTE leader Prabakaran and his associates and bring them to trial in India. "If Balasingham wants to do something constructive, let him advise Prabakaran and Pottu Amman in the larger interest of Tamils to surrender before the Indian embassy in Colombo. If they do, India will be obliged to protect the Tamils in the Island."

Ban demanded

In another statement, V.S. Chandralekha, president of the Tamil Nadu unit of the party, questioned the rationale behind Mr. Balasingham's observation that India should be magnanimous to put the past behind it. Would it be acceptable if all those convicted of murder, robbery and rape admitted their guilt and asked for magnanimity from others, she wondered. She demanded that the Centre ban the activities of organisations supporting the LTTE and operating in Tamil Nadu.