Friday, October 17, 2008

War against LTTE, not Tamil people - Foreign Secretary

Unfazed by the fast moving pro-LTTE developments in Tamil Nadu, the Sri Lankan Government said that it would carry on its military operations against the LTTE, since these were next to terrorists and not the Tamil people as such.
"From the very beginning, we have been very clear that the military processs in the North and East have to be against the terrorists and not directed against the Tamil people," Foreign Secretary Dr.Palitha Kohona told Express.
To illustrate the Government's tip that the civilians in the North were secure, Kohona said that the Sri Lankan Armed Forces had proved, through the operations in the East in 2006-07, that it was likely to drive the terrorists out without killing civilians.
"Every attempt is being made to see that the on-going military operations do not consequence in the killing of normal civilians," he said. True there has been much displacement, about 200,000 are displaced, but there has been no appreciable loss of lives, even according to the statistics free by the LTTE and its allied organisations, observers say.
Trashing the propaganda that the Tamils of Sri Lanka were dangerous amidst the majority Sinhalese, Kohona said: "Admittedly there are about 200,000 civilians in the Wanni who are attentive. But it should be noted that an irresistible bulk of Tamils of Sri Lanka are living safely in the relax of the island."
However, the Sri Lankan Government has made it obvious that it will keep Delhi knowledgeable and consult it on the continuing military operations and the political process to address the latter's concerns. "We will continue to liaise with the Indian government and keep it informed," Kohona said. Other sources in the Sri Lankan Government told Express that Colombo would not be in a hurry to respond officially to the developments in Tamil Nadu, which in danger the Government in New Delhi. Delhi would have to react to the threat and show its give to the Sri Lankan Government first, they said.
However, Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, who is on an official visit to Australia, could stop over in Delhi before coming back to Colombo. He could give details the Sri Lankan place to his counterpart Pranab Mukherjee, and National Security Advisor M K Narayanan.
A day following Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed "serious concern" over escalating hostilities in Sri Lanka, Colombo Thursday stressed it will keep in mind New Delhi's sensitivities while commerce with the situation. "It will be arrogant for me to comment on the prime minister's statement. I have read about the statement in the media," Sri Lanka's High Commissioner C.R. Jayasinghe told journalists on the sidelines of a function in New Delhi.
"What I can say is that whatever the prime minister has said will be regarded as most significant by Sri Lanka," the representative said, stressing that India was "very dear" to the people of Sri Lanka.
"This is in the power of the warm and friendly family members between India and Sri Lanka," he said when asked about Manmohan Singh's comments Wednesday asking Colombo to discover a negotiated political settlement.
"Whatever the evils may come up it is the meaning of the people and the Government of Sri Lanka to address any of these issues keeping in mind the best wellbeing of the two-sided relationship," the envoy underlined. He discarded any perception of the relationship between the two neighbours coming under a damage.
The Centre on Thursday said military aid to Sri Lanka was not meant at rising the disagreement in the island condition but part of India's planned policy to stay a dominant power in the Indian Ocean region.
"One of the reasons we give aid and platform and radar and things like that is to create certain that we are the leading powers in the Indian Ocean Region," Union Minister of State for Defence, M M Pallam Raju told reporters.
"And we will attempt to keep it that way," he said responding to questions on the Governments' stand on the decree adopted at an-all party meeting in Tamil Nadu on October 14.

No comments: