Sri Lanka’s prime minister and presidential hopeful met Friday with troops in the Tamil heartland and vowed there would be no more war with Tiger rebels. Sri Lanka’s prime minister and presidential hopeful met Friday with troops in the Tamil heartland and vowed there would be no more war with Tiger rebels. Premier Mahinda Rajapakse addressed soldiers in the Palaly military complex at the northern tip of the Jaffna peninsula, to drum up support for his candidature at the November 17 presidential election.
“I want to be president not to start a war,” he said in a text released to reporters here by his office. “I want to solve all problems facing this country in a peaceful manner.”
Rajapakse, dubbed by Tiger rebels as the “war candidate” for his hard-line against them, called for unity and an end to all hostilities.
“Even the Tigers have now accepted that this (ethnic) conflict cannot be solved by fighting,” he said.
His remarks came a day after his main challenger, opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, made the same visit and vowed to cut a peace deal with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) “within two to three years.”