Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam supremo V Prabhakaran has asked India to lift the ban on his outfit in order to 'fulfil the aspirations of Tamil people', while admitting that Lankan forces have made inroads into the Tiger areas and were at the doorstep of their key town Kilinochchi.
'We expect that it (India) would lift the ban on our organisation and support us to fulfil the long awaited aspirations of the Tamil people,' the 53-year old leader of the LTTE said in an interview.
Conceding that security forces had closed in on the rebel strongholds and had even entered key areas, Vellupillai Prabhakaran, however, said capturing the Tigers administrative capital Kilinochchi was still a distant dream for them.
'The Sri Lankan forces have entered parts of our homeland and are stationed in close proximity to Kilinochchi town. But, capturing Kilinochchi is just a day dream of (Sri Lankan President Mahinda) Rajapaksa,' he said.
In an e-mail interview to Chennai-based Tamil magazine Nakkeeran, Prabhakaran hailed Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi's stand of seeking quick relief measures for displaced Tamils.
The LTTE leader also expressed dejection over All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader J Jayalalitha distancing herself from the Tamil problem, while praising other leaders of the state for taking up the ethnic issue in the island state.
'Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Kalaignar is a Tamil nationalist. He has not only voiced his concern against the Sinhala state terrorism in Tamil Eelam, but has also showed it in action. Today, it makes us happy to see him taking a stance in support of the Tamils when they face untold sufferings. We expect such support in the future as well,' Prabhakaran said.
'Jayalalitha had also voiced her support. But, if she has changed her stand now, what could we say about it,' he said replying to a query.
Showering praise on Tamil Nadu leaders taking up the ethnic issue in Sri Lanka, Prabhakaran said the support 'will definitely give us more strength'.
While accusing Sri Lankan forces of 'carrying out genocidal attacks on Tamils', Prabhakaran also claimed that the military was facing 'severe losses' due to the attacks launched in Northern Sri Lanka.
'The forces are carrying out indiscriminate attacks on civilian areas. More than 100,000 Tamils have fled their homes and are continuously on the move as refugees, seeking safe areas,' he said.
The rebel leader said the Sri Lankan forces had attacked the political headquarters of LTTE, but that no damage was suffered.
'No one was there at the time of the attack,' he said.
The LTTE chief also termed reports that India was providing military equipment and training to the Sri Lankan forces as 'saddening'.
'The media also reported to the world that Indian experts were involved in providing training to operate the radar instrument in Vavuniya, which is very saddening,' Prabhakaran said.
On whether he expected a change in the current environment and any prospects for holding talks, Prabhakaran said, 'We can only expect such a situation depending on the politics within the government and its military stance.'
'We do not carry out attacks on innocent Sinhala civilians. Ours is a liberation organisation fighting for the liberation of the Tamil people. We have continuously called upon the Indian political analysts and policy makers to clearly understand this,' he said.
On Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa's observation that he (Prabhakaran) could be handed over to India, if he surrenders or is captured, the LTTE supreme said, 'this is one of the many dreams of Rajapaksa'.
Asserting that he was not living in bunkers, Prabhakaran said, 'We are living among the people, fighting for them and carrying out our freedom struggle. It is a common phrase used by the military during the last 30 years'.
On whether he still persisted with the demand for a separate nation for Sri Lankan Tamils, Prabhakaran said, 'The Tamil people have at every election since 1977, indicated what their political aspirations are. That would be the permanent solution for the ethnic crisis.'