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Sri Lanka President departs for UN sessions
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15:23, September 22, 2007

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Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse departed here Saturday, heading for New York to attend the UN general assembly sessions, Sri Lankan officials said.

Rajapakse is billed to speak on Sept. 25, the opening day of the sessions, the officials added.

Sri Lanka President is due to outline his government's commitment towards a political solution to end the island's separatist armed conflict with Tamil Tiger rebels, they said.

Rajapakse, who was elected as the president of the island nation in late 2005, has carried on a campaign of military pursuit of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels.

The move was taken despite repeated pleas from international community to resume the process of direct negotiations between the government and LTTE.

The government maintains they have acted in self defense while the rebels have complained of government suppression of their campaign for their right to win self determination for the minority Tamils.

More than 5,000 people have died in the escalation of the conflict since the end of 2005.

Source: Xinhua

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