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Rajapakse denies SL army killing Balachandran

In an interview with The Hindu, Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa has denied that the Sri Lankan Army killed the 12 year old son of the LTTE leader, Balachandran Prabakaran.

Rajapakse is quoted as saying:

“Had it happened, I would have known [it]. It is obvious that if somebody [from the armed forces] had done that, I must take responsibility. We completely deny it. It can’t be,”

“We must not merely look at one side. They must not merely listen to one group and the Opposition [in Sri Lanka]. So they [the Opposition] are trying to get the support of other countries to create an ‘Arab Spring’ here. That won’t happen in Sri Lanka.”

Commenting on the current UN Human Rights Council session and proposed resolution, he said:

“Sri Lanka is like a volley ball. Everyone is taking turns punching it to cover up their sins.

“Who did this within three years? Anybody who has come and seen it has talked about it positively and has commended us.”

India must know its duty, as a neighbour…, as a friend of Sri Lanka. I can’t dictate to India.”

On Sri Lanka's relationship with India after the March 2012 vote in favour of a resolution against Sri Lanka:

There are many incidents to show that the relationship is good. We don’t hold… Indian fishermen who routinely fish in our waters…Thousands of fishermen are crossing and fishing…We sent so many Indian prisoners back home. Despite incidents in Tamil Nadu [where Sri Lankan pilgrims were sent back], there has not been any incident [involving] Indians in Sri Lanka. I understand that there are people who want India to have some confrontation with Sri Lanka… It is all politically motivated,”

On accountability for alleged human rights violations, he said:

“We have filed cases… We have handed down punishments. But this can be done only as per the laws of this country…I have released 14,000 [LTTE] prisoners, who had serious charges against them like murder, after a process of rehabilitation. Had I filed cases against the 14,000 people, what would have happened? I am a Buddhist. We have tolerance and compassion. There are still some more people [of the LTTE] in prison. We are examining ways…to release them.”

Asked about the achieving a political solution with the TNA, he said:

“Without TNA [on the committee], I will not be able to do anything… Earlier, all the leaders gave their solutions from the top. It has failed. The 13th Amendment has failed. Everything has failed,

Asked about whether elections would be held in the Northern province, he said:

“Yes, we will hold [the poll] in September. That’s why we have postponed the other [provincial] elections too. I did not want to face the criticism that I was doing it only because I had no intention of holding the Northern provincial elections.”