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LTTE is a terrorist outfit: Manmohan Singh

Source: PTI
April 21, 2009 20:49 IST
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Amid a flip-flop by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief M Karunanidhi over the status of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday said the government of India considers the outfit based in Sri Lanka as a "terrorist organisation" and its leader V Prabhakaran remains a "proclaimed offender."

"Our position has been explained by the spokesperson of the Congress party in the last few days that LTTE is a terrorist organisation and that Prabhakaran is a proclaimed offender. That, I think, the situation has remained unchanged as far as our government is concerned," Singh told Times Now.

He was responding when asked to comment on remarks by Karunanidhi that LTTE is not a terrorist organisation. The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, however, later backtracked on his comment. Singh took note of Karunanidhi's revised comment, saying "The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu has clarified the position."

Asked whether such statements put any pressure on post-election coalitions, the Prime Minister said, "I hope not, but I don't rule out anything in this age of uncertainty."

The Prime Minister also refused to accord much importance to the attack by allies Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad and Lok Janshakti Party president Ram Vilas Paswan, who have said Congress cannot escape responsibility for the Babri Masjid demolition.

"We are a coalition government... So in a coalition, if one colleague criticises the other on the eve of the election I don't think we should take a too tragic view of this," he said.

Singh's attention was also drawn towards the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and asked whether he, being a Sikh Prime Minister, had regrets that justice still does seem to have been delivered in the case.

"The legal processes in our country are slow-moving. I don't have any control over them," he said responding to the question.

At the same time, he said, "Next time, if we come to power, the judicial reforms should be a priority of our government."

When pointed out that the relationship between the ruling party and the opposition is at an "abysmal low", Singh said he did not take a "tragic view" of these things.

"At the election times, such strain in relationships keeps happening. I am confident that if we form the government, we will be able to establish a relation of trust and confidence with the principal opposition party," he said.

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