We deal with India, not with its States, says Sri Lanka

Dismissing the unanimous resolution of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly that called upon the Government of India to impose economic sanctions against Sri Lanka and declare its President Mahinda Rajapaksa a war criminal, a Minister here said Sri Lanka dealt with India and not with individual States.

“The negative statements made by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and the passing of, what appears to be, an anti-Sri Lankan resolution in the Tamil Nadu Assembly this week will take centre stage during the talks between the government and a high-power Indian delegation due in Sri Lanka,” the Daily Mirror online said, quoting Cabinet spokesperson and Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella.

India’s Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar and National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon are to arrive here on Friday for talks with the President, External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris and senior officials.

News agency Lankapuvath quoted Mr. Rambukwella as saying that the resolution was only a view point of the Tamil Nadu Assembly and Ms. Jayalalithaa was free to come over here with the permission of New Delhi to view the situation. The Minister recalled that even some years ago when Ms. Jayalalithaa made such adverse statements Colombo invited her here but she did not come.

Issue in Parliament

Tamil Nadu’s resolution was raked up in the Sri Lankan Parliament on Wednesday but the government evaded a reply. Opposition UNP member Ravi Karunanayake wanted the government to make a statement, but there was no response from the Treasury benches.

Speaking in Parliament, Professor Peiris sought to categorise all criticism against Sri Lanka as “hostile forces who are attempting to launch an onslaught against the country.”

According to the Sri Lankan government website, Newsline, he said those who cast the first stone must stand prepared to be judged by the standards which they purport to prescribe for the rest of humanity.

He said: “We do, however, need to remind ourselves of one basic imperative. At a time when forces hostile to our motherland are acting in concert to launch an onslaught against our vital national interest, there is no room for division on the basis of sectarian loyalty or party affiliation.”


Source: The Hindu