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“LTTE must lay down arms”

B. Muralidhar Reddy

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa said on Tuesday his government would not “hesitate to work” with the LTTE if the Tigers were ready to lay down arms.

At a meeting with “religious dignitaries” who called on him, Mr. Rajapaksa has been quoted by his Secretariat as saying it was not his intention to go to war with the people of the country.

“The President assured that he was not at all prepared to compromise the security of the country and people and was not ready to hand over the country to a terrorist organisation,” said a statement by his Secretariat.

It said the gathering “commended the efforts” by the President to bring a lasting solution to the ethnic issue by setting up an All Party Representative Conference. It requested him to include religious and political leaders too in the conference.

The statement said the religious dignitaries told the President that certain groups were propagating “baseless allegations locally and internationally against the government and bringing disgrace” to the country.

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