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Sunday, March 24, 2013 - 4.10 GMT
Do not open floodgates of external interventions – SL envoy

 

Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in India, Prasad Kariyawasam, asked India not to not to open the floodgates of external intervention as it might engulf not just Sri Lanka but the entire South Asia.

“Creating precedence for external intervention is not a good idea and that India could be at the receiving end from such multilateral platforms in future”, the High Commissioner said in an interview with THE WEEK.

Referring to the UNHRC resolution, the High Commissioner said the resolution of the United Nations Human Rights Council was uncalled for as it does not take into account all the progress that Sri Lanka has made since the end of the conflict.

“This is becoming an annual ritual to humiliate Sri Lanka and play great games around Lanka and the Indian Ocean,” he said.

The Sri Lankan High Commissioner stated that Sri Lanka has invited leaders from Tamil Nadu to visit the country and assess the situation for themselves, however no political party from Tamil Nadu has responded so far.

“……India’s political leaders, especially from Tamil Nadu, have not visited Sri Lanka in the last four years despite repeated invitation from us. That is why we say they are misinformed,” Kariyawasam said.

On the recent attacks on Sri Lankan citizens and establishments in Tamil Nadu, he stated that they are being carried out by a very small number of people, “but it can be described as a form of terrorism”.

 

Full text of the interview:


Who benefitted the most from the resolution?

It was brought by LTTE lobbies from the west and they benefitted the most. This is becoming an annual ritual to humiliate Sri Lanka and play great games around Lanka and the Indian Ocean. Those who wish to see conditions on the ground in Sri Lanka are welcome to visit our country. In the past, too, we have invited leaders from Tamil Nadu to visit our country and assess the situation for themselves.


Did anyone respond to your invite?

One group representing the Congress party of India visited Lanka at the end of the conflict. Political parties from Tamil Nadu have not responded so far.


What do you have to say about the DMK moves?

We do not want to speculate on Indian political situation as it is an internal matter. All that we can say is that India's political leaders, especially from Tamil Nadu, have not visited Sri Lanka in the last four years despite repeated invitation from us. That is why we say they are misinformed.

Security implications of this phase of tension?

Our innocent citizens have been attacked in Tamil Nadu. Lankan monks are being attacked. Bank of Ceylon and Air Lanka offices were stoned. These are being done by a very small number of people, but it can be described as a form of terrorism.

What efforts have Lanka taken to normalise the ethnic conflict?

Sri Lanka has taken several initiatives on the ground to undo damage of several decades of violence. We have started a thorough process of reconciliation and rehabilitation, which is unique and perhaps the most extensive in the world.

Are there efforts to re-create the LTTE as a diplomatic power?

It is clear that the individuals and groups, who used to support the LTTE, have not given up their positions. They continue to believe that ethnic state building is still possible in Sri Lanka. Tamils are spread all over the country in Sri Lanka. Ethnocracy or ethnic nationalism is a thing of the past, but these individuals still dream about it.

Countries from West Asia to Africa and Sri Lanka are facing external diplomatic intervention. What message does it hold for bigger powers like India?

Many countries are concerned over this trend. Solution for any internal problem has to be found by the state itself; external help can be sought only if the people and the state seek it.

Do you think that India could also be dragged to the UNHRC on the internal issues faced by it?

Creating precedence for external intervention is not a good idea. India could be at the receiving end from such multilateral platforms in future. I request India not to open the floodgates of external intervention as it might engulf not just Sri Lanka but the entire South Asia.

Is this chill affecting high-level contacts between India and Sri Lanka?

Absolutely not. We have a robust relation with India.


 

 
 
   
   
     
   
   

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Last modified: March 24, 2013.

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