Russia always backed Lanka: ambassador
Russia, while stressing that the Sri Lankan government had no option
but to defeat LTTE terrorists militarily, yesterday said Sri Lankan
leaders had tried their maximum to minimise casualties in their efforts
to eradicate terrorism. Russian ambassador to Sri Lanka Vladimir
Mikhaylov said. Russia supported
Sri Lanka's effort to eradicate terrorism from the beginning as it
believed that protraction of a conflict under any pretext could only
The ambassador who is about to compete his term of office in Colombo
said terrorist attacks were very common incidents when he assumed duties
as the Russian envoy in Colombo four years back.
"When I came here in 2008, the war on terrorism was in full swing and
terrorist attacks were very common incidents," he said.
Speaking at a reception to mark Russian Day at Galle Face Hotel,
Colombo, Mikhaylov said he himself saw drone videos of thousands of
innocent civilians being forcibly held by LTTE terrorists.
He said he saw armed LTTE terrorists shooting at civilians trying to
escape from the custody of terrorists.
The Russian envoy said his country was ready to work with the Sri
Lankan government to promote national reconciliation.
The ambassador said Russia is widely viewed in Sri Lanka as a
He said Russia and Sri Lanka has forged more closer ties in the
fields of trade, aviation and culture.
"Efforts of both embassies brought an 80 percent increase in
bilateral trade within the last three years and this trend continues in
2012," he said.
Mikhaylov said Russia opposes any form of pressure on selective
countries under the guise of human rights and reiterated that
safeguarding human rights, political economic and social freedoms within
states should be fulfilled by the particular governments.
Senior Minister DEW Gunasekera said Russia always stood by Sri Lanka
in times of need.
The minister thanked Russia for creating more educational
opportunities for Sri Lankan students in Russia.
He said relations between the two nations have improved during the
past few years.
Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Fisheries and Aquatic
Resources Minister Rajitha Seneratne, Petroleum Resources Development
Minister Susil Premajayantha and Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody were
among the large number of invitees at the reception.