- The LTTE was never before nor later as strong as they were in 2000-2001
- I think Prabhakaran wanted peace and was ready for peace, but there was a lot to compromise on
- You must work with the understanding that the peace talks are only for the outside world and not for us
- Balasingham said, what Thesiyath Thalaivar meant was, that the “war against terror” waged by the powerful countries might turn against them as well
During an exclusive interview with one time Norwegian peace envoy to Sri Lanka Erik Solheim, which was published in last Wednesday’s Daily Mirror, senior journalist Easwaran Rutnam had posed a question whether he (Solheim) ever thought the LTTE was genuinely committed to peace, based on his internal discussions with the organisation.
Solheim had answered: “Absolutely. There is a misconception in the South. Please recall that the LTTE pursued peace when it was at the peak of its power. The LTTE was never before nor later as strong as they were in 2000-2001. It had overwhelmed Elephant Pass. It was very close to overtaking the entire Jaffna peninsula. It was beaten at the last moment because of Pakistani help to the GoSL. And they had destroyed the Sri Lankan economy with the attack on the Bandaranaike International Airport. So, it was at the peak of its strength that the LTTE pursued peace. So, it showed that the LTTE was absolutely genuine. However, it was ready to go all the way for a federal settlement, you may question. I think Prabhakaran wanted peace and was ready for peace, but there was a lot to compromise on.”