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    LTTE offering 'lame excuses' for talks: Rajapaksa

    London (PTI): Sri Lanka has accused Liberation of Tamil Tigers Eelam (LTTE) of not reciprocating to its efforts for a dialogue while seeking global support in defeating the rebel force.

    Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, addressing the Oxford University Student Union at the institution on Tuesdaystressed that he did not believe in a military solution to the ethnic problem.

    "We have attempted talks with the LTTE on several occasions - thrice since my election as the President - but they have not reciprocated," he said.

    "They have always left the talks, with lame excuses. We are still ready to talk, once we are certain of their genuine intent for a political solution and their readiness to give up arms," Rajapaksa told a packed house of Britons and expatriate Sri Lankans.

    Urging global support for his country to deal with the Tamil Tigers, the President said: "If Sri Lanka fails in its war against the LTTE, the world will fail in its fight against terrorism and democracy will be the victim. This is the plain truth".

    Terming the LTTE as "the most brutal terror outfit the world has ever seen", Rajapaksa said defeating it required global support.

    "What Sri Lanka is doing in my opinion is fighting this terror outfit single-handed to ensure that democracy and respect for human life prevail in the world," he said.

    Rajapaksa also noted that country's development thrust had its own obstacles because of the continuing three-decade long conflict particularly through the use of suicide bombers.

    "It is time that the world raising its united voice expressed its utter revulsion of the barbaric practice of suicide bombings," he added.


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