LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran yesterday announced his movement would continue to maintain the current ceasefire with the government and adopt a ?wait and observe? period for a short time to see how the new President, Mahinda Rajapakse, dealt with the ethnic issue. In a widely awaited Heroes Day speech, Mr. Prabhakaran did not give exact time frame and warned the LTTE would be forced to resume the struggle for self-determination sometime next year if the government failed to resolve the conflict soon.
In the speech telecast live in the North and across several countries in Asia and Europe, Mr. Prabhakaran in an unexpected tribute said , ?Since President Rajapakse is considered to be a realist and committed to pragmatic politics we wish to find out, first of all, how he is going to handle the peace process and whether he will offer justice to our people. Therefore we have decided to wait and observe, for sometime, his political manoeuvres and actions.?
The LTTE leader speaking from his Kilinochchi hideout said the new government should come forward soon with a reasonable political framework that would satisfy the political aspirations of the Tamil people and warned failure to do so would result in the LTTE intensifying the struggle for self-determination next year.
?If the new government rejects our urgent appeal, opts for a hard-line position and adopts delaying tactics, we will, next year, in solidarity with our people, intensify our struggle for self-determination, our struggle for national liberation to establish self-government in our own homeland? Mr. Prabhakaran said.
Commenting on President Rajapakse`s policy statement Mr. Prabhakaran noted that the policy statement revealed the President had failed to grasp the fundamental and basic concepts underlying the Tamil national question.
Mr. Prabhakaran also said that the rebels, frustrated with the successive governments in the South, were earlier prepared to re-launch their freedom struggle late last year but were forced to reconsider their decision following the tsunami disaster.
He also said the recent presidential elections and the change in governance affected by the Tamil boycott have created a wide rift, politically, between the Tamil and Sinhala nations and added while a new government under President Mahinda Rajapakse has assumed power in the South the LTTE administration is expanding and gaining strength as a concrete embodiment of Tamil nationalism.