Sri Lanka demands Tiger apology over Gandhi slaying, says ‘regret’ not enough

June 28, 2006 (AFP) – Sri Lanka Wednesday demanded the Tamil Tigers apologise for the 1991 assassination of former Indian premier Rajiv Gandhi, saying their latest expression of regret over the killing was meaningless. “The whole world knows that the LTTE killed Rajiv Gandhi,” Sri Lankan government spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said.

“In their latest television interview, I have not seen any apology from the LTTE.”
The rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) told an Indian television network Tuesday that they deeply “regretted” the assassination.

In the interview with India’s NDTV network, the LTTE’s chief ideologue Anton Balasingham said: “I would say it (Gandhi’s killing) is a great tragedy … a monumental historical tragedy … for which we deeply regret”.

But Rambukwella said the rebels were merely repeating their 2002 position on the killing, and stopped far short of accepting responsibility for Gandhi’s death.

“They must first accept responsibility, apologise to the government of India and the people of India,” he said.

“It is meaningless to express regret when what is required is to say — at least after 15 years — that they did it.”

India also bristled at the LTTE’s latest st