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Tuesday, 16 April, 2002, 12:02 GMT 13:02 UK
Tamil Nadu demands Tiger extradition
Vellupillai Prabhakaran (right), leader of the Tamil Tigers arrives for last week's news conference
Prabhakaran wants the ban on the Tigers lifted
The southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu has passed a resolution demanding the extradition of Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebel leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran.

Jayalalitha
Jayalalitha wants the Tiger leader behind bars

The state assembly said any move against the rebel chief should be deemed a part of the global war against terrorism.

The resolution is aimed at blocking any Indian mediation in the Sri Lankan peace process.

Tamil Nadu's Chief Minister Jayalalitha said the resolution was brought before the state assembly to protect the integrity and sovereignty of the country.

Pressure

Correspondents say the resolution by Jayalalitha's ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) party is unlikely to put much pressure on the central government over this issue.

Several opposition parties in the state abstained from voting on the resolution, saying it could harm the peace process.

India's main opposition Congress Party has also demanded Mr Prabhakaran's extradition.

India blames the Tigers for the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi who was also head of the Congress Party.

In a rare news conference last week in northern Sri Lanka, Mr Prabhakaran announced an end to the suicide bombings which have struck terror over the years in Sri Lanka and India.

He also described Mr Gandhi's assassination as a "tragic incident", and asked both India and Sri Lanka to lift their bans on his organisation.

Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee said he had "no intention" of lifting the ban.

The Congress Party also accused the rebel leader of making light of Mr Gandhi's death.

See also:

13 Apr 02 | From Our Own Correspondent
Tiger steps out of the shadows
10 Apr 02 | South Asia
Tamil Tiger chief 'wants peace'
08 Apr 02 | South Asia
Key Sri Lanka road opens
29 Mar 02 | South Asia
Direct talks in Sri Lankan conflict
09 Apr 02 | South Asia
The enigma of Prabhakaran
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