China denies supplying heavy weapons to Sri Lanka

March 20th, 2008 - 8:53 pm ICT by admin  

By P.K. Balachandran
Colombo, March 20 (IANS) China has reportedly denied supplying heavy weapons to Sri Lankan armed forces fighting Tamil Tiger guerrillas, a Tamil MP said Thursday. The denial, reported in the Tamil media Thursday, came during a meeting between Chinese ambassador Dabo Ye and Tamil MP and rights activist Mano Ganeshan here Wednesday evening.

“The ambassador told me that his government was well aware of the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka, and that it wished that the people here lived in peace and harmony with each other. He denied that China was a major arms supplier to Sri Lanka and asserted that only some light weapons were being supplied,” Ganeshan, who is chairman of the Civil Monitoring Commission (CMC), told IANS.

“The ambassador made it clear that China did not want to take sides in the ethnic conflict, and that it did not favour any particular political party or community in its dealings in Sri Lanka,” Ganeshan said.

“He maintained that Chinese arms supplies to Sri Lanka could not be interpreted as an anti-Tamil act.”

Pro-Tiger Tamil politicians and rights workers often ask why many countries including the US and India give military assistance or sell weapons to Sri Lanka even while seeking a military solution to the ethnic conflict.

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