Zero tolerance of terrorism, says India
India's External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee yesterday said the
legitimate aspirations of all communities in Sri Lanka should be
fulfilled within the country's territorial integrity and framework of
the Sri Lankan constitution.
The minister said some steps, including evolving a devolution
formula, have been taken towards fulfilment of the aspirations of
various ethnic groups.
He pointed out that a committee appointed by President Mahinda
Rajapaksa on devolution was going to submit its report shortly. "We want
those steps should be taken to logical conclusion."
At the same time, he said, India condemned terrorism, for which it
has a policy of "zero tolerance".
He said there could be no military solution to the island nation's
problems which have to be addressed by fulfilling the ''legitimate
aspirations'' of ethnic groups.
India was encouraging the Sri Lankan government to resolve the
problem through dialogue and implementation of a devolution formula.
"Military solution is not the solution. A solution has to be found
through dialogue and discussion," he said during an interaction with PTI
Meanwhile, the US said it is troubled by the decision to terminate
the 2002 ceasefire agreement. "Ending the ceasefire agreement will make
it more difficult to achieve a lasting, peaceful solution to Sri Lanka's
conflict. We call on both the Government and the Liberation Tigers of
Tamil Eelam to avoid an escalation of hostilities and further civilian
All parties to the conflict share the responsibility to protect the
rights of all of Sri Lanka's people. We urge them to work toward the
goal of a just, political solution that ensures the rights of minority
communities and benefits all Sri Lankans. Only a peaceful political
solution, not a military one, offers a way out of the current cycle of
escalating violence," a Department of State Spokesman said.
UN Secretary General Ban-ki-Moon said he is "deeply worried" that the
ceasefire withdrawal comes "amidst intensifying fighting in the North
and increasing violence across the country".
The UK said it regretted the lack of a "genuine commitment to peace".
"We look to the political parties in Sri Lanka to place the need to
work together for peace," Mark Malloch-Brown, Britain's minister for
Africa, Asia and the UN, said in a statement.