Sri Lanka envoy apologises to Indian MPs

March 15th, 2012 - 3:07 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 15 (IANS) Sri Lanka’s envoy to India Thursday apologised to Indian MPs for his comments that sought to link those questioning Colombo’s human rights record with the Tamil Tigers.

“I would like to apologise to MPs of Tamil Nadu if I have caused any discontent or concern or distress in their minds. I feel sorry about that,” High Commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam told reporters here.

The diplomat was earlier quoted by an Indian newspaper as saying that New Delhi should investigate Indian MPs sympathetic to the Tamil cause.

“That is not what I meant,” Kariyawasam clarified, after meeting an official of the external affairs ministry where he was summoned to explain his remarks.

“What I meant say was the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) lobby groups abroad and in this region carrying on a campaign of disinformation (against Sri Lanka),” he said.

This, he added, was aimed at disrupting the process of reconciliation in Sri Lanka following the end of the long-drawn war in 2009.

He said when he referred to “investigation”, he meant the Tamil lobby groups abroad, not Indian MPs.

Kariyawasam said the Indian foreign ministry official who met him “expressed very clearly the concerns of the Indian government” over his reported remarks.

Asked what stand he expected India to take at the Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva on the US-sponsored resolution on “war crimes” in Sri Lanka, the envoy was cautious: “India is a responsible country.”

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