The Indian government on Friday rejected the resolution passed by Tamil Nadu assembly that called for enforcing sanctions against Sri Lanka and holding a referendum to create a separate Tamil Eelam in the country.
The External Affairs Minister of India Salman Khurshid rejected the Tamil Nadu government resolution that had asked the Central government to stop treating Sri Lanka as a friendly nation and slap economic sanctions while demanding a referendum for a separate Tamil Eelam.
In an interview to CNN-IBN Minister Khurshid said the Indian government considers the very strong feelings in Tamil Nadu and those are not entirely "out of sync with" what many people in the world think but the government believes that its negotiations, the dialogue with Sri Lanka and the effort it has made with Sri Lanka are equally important.
When asked if the Centre was rejecting the three crucial aspects of the resolution - declaring the country unfriendly, slapping economic sanctions and holding a referendum- adopted by Tamil Nadu Assembly on March 27, the Minister said a firm no to each demand.
"There is no question of accepting that and that is not the only state that has a stake in this. What about the other states? There are many other assemblies. The rest of India is not supporting this," the Minister said in the interview.
"If all of India was supporting it, it would be another matter. But if one state supports something we are sensitive to their concerns, but we don't have to necessarily accept everything they say," he said.
Following is the transcript of an excerpt from the interview:
Q: How do you as External Affairs Minister respond to the resolution passed by the Tamil Nadu Assembly asking New Delhi not to consider Sri Lanka as a friendly country, to impose economic sanctions and most importantly to push at the United Nations for a resolution that would call for a referendum on Eelam?
Khurshid: I take it on board that there are very strong feelings in Tamil Nadu and not just of other parties, but our own party members have very strong feelings. And we have taken those feelings on board. These feelings are not entirely out of sync with what many people in the world think. At the same time we do believe that the negotiation we have done with Sri Lanka, the dialogue we have with Sri Lanka and the effort we have made with Sri Lanka is equally important.
Q: You say you have taken the Tamil Nadu Assembly resolution on board and you say it is in sync with the feelings that many people have within your party.
Khurshid: Not all of it, but a lot of it.
Q: I want to ask are you for instance considering declaring the country unfriendly?
Q: Are you considering economic sanctions?
Q: Would you consider at the UN passing a resolution or encouraging people to pass a resolution to call for a referendum on Eelam?
Q: So in other word those three critical aspects of the Tamil Nadu Assembly resolution, you've rejected?
Khurshid: Long ago. I mean there is no question of accepting that and that is not the only state that has a stake in this. What about the other states? There are many other assemblies. The rest of India is not supporting this. If all of India was supporting it, it would be another matter. But if one state supports something we are sensitive to their concerns, but we don't have to necessarily accept everything they say.