India ‘very dear’, we will address issues: Sri Lanka

October 16th, 2008 - 9:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghNew Delhi, Oct 16 (IANS) A day after 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 dealing with the situation. “It will be presumptuous 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 reporters 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 important by Sri Lanka,” the envoy said, stressing that India was “very dear” to the people of Sri Lanka.

“This is in the spirit of the warm and friendly relations between India and Sri Lanka,” he said when asked about Manmohan Singh’s remarks Wednesday asking Colombo to find a negotiated political settlement rather than a military victory to the festering ethnic dispute in the island nation.

“Whatever the problems may come up it is the intention of the people and the government of Sri Lanka to address any of these issues keeping in mind the best interests of the bilateral relationship,” the envoy underlined.

He rejected any perception of the relationship between the two neighbours coming under a strain.

The prime minister’s remarks Wednesday came in the wake of an all-party meeting in Tamil Nadu Tuesday, convened by Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, warning the centre that all MPs from the state would resign if the government failed to halt the war in the island nation within two weeks.

“India has always believed that there can’t be a military victory in Sri Lanka. We have always believed that the situation in Sri Lanka required a negotiated political settlement that respects human rights of the Tamil minorities,” the prime minister had stressed.

Colombo has, however, chosen not to comment on the resolution adopted by the all-party meet in Chennai on the situation in Sri Lanka, saying it was an “internal matter” of India.

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