The Government will say publicly a truce only if the Tigers put down down weapons and give in, President Mahinda Rajapaksa told India Today in an meeting.
Speaking to India Today Managing Editor Raj Chengappa at Temple Trees, President Rajapaksa said the Forces have Prabhakaran cornered and he will be wedged soon. "The day Prabhakaran is wedged, military operations would be over. Soon after that that we will give a following answer as we did in the East," the President said.
Asked whether the war would be over if Kilinochchi falls, he said: "I don't call it a war. It is a military procedure we have launched to clean out terrorists. Kilinochchi is the LTTE headquarters.
We are too advancing from the East to take Mullaitivu. Progress is slow because we want zero inhabitant casualties." "Now, one of LTTE's child armed is the chief cleric and one more of Prabhakaran's commanders is a Member of Parliament. But Prabhakaran have to be punished for his crimes.
Let's not forget he killed Rajiv Gandhi apart from so many Sri Lankan leaders. He has to undergo trial and if India is interested in having him extradited we will do that," he remarked.
The President recalled how the LTTE used ceasefires to strengthen themselves-buy weapons, firepower, employ soldiers and make bunkers. "We know they will not honour a truce now. Let them put down down their weapons and surrender. We will say openly a truce."
He disclosed that Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh did not mention about a ceasefire during their recent telephonic conversation.
"No, he didn't ask for me to declare a truce. His concern was about the Tamil civilian inhabitants. India has been fair. It is focused on the humanitarian issue, particularly of the Tamils in the North and the East, which we are captivating care of."
"I agree that there can be no military answer. Soon after I took over, we appointed an all party group to look into this issue. I believe that if the southern political parties, that form the majority, do not accept a following answer then we can't put into practice it. I don't want to thrust a solution on parties.
If I can have all the parties agree to a answer to resolve the problem it would be valued by the people. Otherwise there will be riots and no Government will be able to put into do it," the President noted.
Asked as to why the Government sent out humanitarian agencies from the war zone, he replied: "We have only prevented those NGOs that were helping the LTTE consolidate, with some even transferring weapons and money.
Plus, when fighting was going on, there was nervousness about their security. But we do allow the UN and Red Cross to supply food and medicines, which in any container is discrete by the Government. We are not irritating Tamils. This war is not against Tamils or Muslims. This war is after that to terrorism. That has to be understood."