Sri Lanka to consider Prabhakaran’s extradition issue ‘positively’

January 15th, 2009 - 12:12 am ICT by IANS  

Sonia GandhiNew Delhi, Jan 14 (IANS) A day before Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon heads to Colombo, Sri Lanka Wednesday said it will look at any Indian request for extradition of LTTE chief V. Prabhakaran “positively”. “The government’s stand is that if there is a request, certainly that will have to be looked at very seriously - I would say even positively,” Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to India C.R. Jayasinghe told the Times Now news channel.

India has made numerous requests to Sri Lanka to hand over Prabhakaran to face trial here for the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991.

Earlier this month, Menon said India has made repeated requests for the extradition of Prabhakaran.

“On Prabhakaran, our views are well known. I think we have consistently sought his extradition to face charges here, to face trial here actually,” he had said Jan 5 at a press conference.

“And that continues. That is a request we have renewed repeatedly,” he said.

During his two-day Sri Lanka visit, Menon is expected to meet President Mahinda Rajapaksa Friday and discuss bilateral issues, including the present situation in the island’s north after the capture of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) bastion Kilinochchi by the Sri Lankan army.

Menon will also meet Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama.

Sri Lankan security forces have launched a massive operation to liberate LTTE-held regions and are closing in on their last stronghold of Mullaitivu.

India believes that Sri Lanka should not lose sight of a political solution within the framework of a united Sri Lanka.

The visit comes a few days after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi again urged New Delhi “to step up measures” to end to the conflict in Sri Lanka which he said had caused suffering to the Tamil minority in the island.

“I will again (request) Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to speed up pro-active moves to solve the (Sri Lankan) problem,” he said in Chennai Monday. Karunanidhi’s DMK is a key constituent of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

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