Sri Lankan FM wants rebel leader tried for war crimes: report

Minister appoints Dr Swaminathan to IPACSL as Chairperson

OSLO, June 15, 2006 (AFP) – Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera on Thursday said Tamil Tiger rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran should be tried for war crimes, Norwegian news agency NTB reported. “There is a great obstacle to peace in Sri Lanka, and it’s not the (rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) LTTE, it’s the LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran,” Samaraweera told NTB in an interview during a visit to Oslo.

“The question is how we can remove this man. Maybe the international community could look into the possibility of charging him,” he said.

“Of course he has some loyal supporters but he doesn’t represent the Tamil people of Sri Lanka. The majority of them want to live in peace with us, and do it as well,” he said.

The Tigers have been fighting for autonomy in the northeast for three decades in a conflict that has claimed more than 60,000 lives and has escalated in recent months.

Since December at least 650 people have been killed.

On Thursday, a powerful landmine attack on a packed Sri Lankan bus killed at least 64 people, the deadliest attack on civilians in the country in 10 years.

The government blamed the attack on the LTTE rebels.

The European Union last mont