5:28 AM

Hand over Prabhakaran to India

While some key Tamil Nadu politicians and other LTTE sympathisers are trying to secure India’s help to save the LTTEand its leader Velupillai Prabhakaran trapped in the North, the Congress Party of India has requested Sri Lanka to hand over Prabhakaran, if captured alive, to stand trial for crimes he has committed on the Indian soil.

The Times of India yesterday reported the request of the Congress.

Full text of the report: "Congress on Saturday demanded that Sri Lanka extradite LTTE chief Prabhakaran, an accused in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, if he is nabbed in the army offensive, in what signals a strong stand ruling out any intervention under pressure from DMK.
Congress spokesman Veerappa Moily told reporters that the LTTE was a banned outfit and Prabhakaran was wanted for the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. "He is an assassin and we would be very happy if he was extradited to India. We want him to be prosecuted and convicted here for the grave crime he committed," Moily said.

Before Sri Lanka’s army smashed through LTTE bastion of Kilinochchi, Congress often had to accommodate DMK’s sensitivities. But the demand for Prabhakaran’s extradition as well as the stand that the fight against terror was Lanka’s internal issue signals that in the coming days any pressure by DMK to lean on Lanka may not mean much.

Moily, however, took care to separate the issue of the extradition of Prabhakaran and how Sri Lanka treats the Tigers with the concern for the protection of the rights of Tamil minority in the island nation. He said that Congress was not mixing terrorism and ethnic issue, reiterating that Congress wanted Lanka to ensure the safety of Tamils and a policy of non-discrimination against them.