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Home > News > PTI

India concerned over escalation of violence in Lanka

March 28, 2007 20:06 IST

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Special: The War in Lanka

In the wake of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam using air power for the first time in Sri Lanka, India on Wednesday voiced its serious concern over escalation of violence there and said it would encourage Sri Lankans to find a political solution to the 'tragic' conflict themselves.

New Delhi will be talking to all concerned in Sri Lanka over the next week or so in this regard, Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon told a press conference in New Delhi.

"We are very concerned at the escalation of violence recently and LTTE air strike is one example in this escalation of violence," he said, when referred to the Tamil rebels using two aircraft to bomb Sri Lankan Air base in Colombo two days back.

Three people were killed in the incident which highlighted that LTTE possesses air power. It has threatened to use it again.

Menon said Indian government remained engaged with everyone in Sri Lanka, including the government, to see what it can do for resolution of the problem there and encourage Sri Lankans themselves to find a political solution to the 'tragic' conflict.

New Delhi also wants to see what it can do to ameliorate the condition of Sri Lankans caused by the conflict.

Menon rejected reports that Indra radar, which had been given to Sri Lanka by India, had failed to detect the LTTE planes.

"There is no question of it failing," he emphasised.

The foreign secretary said instead of focussing on an individual incident, it was more important to address the 'root cause' of the problem, which is the conflict.

"The main issue is to get a solution to the conflict. Picking an individual incident of violence does not help us to address the root cause of problem. The root cause of problem is the conflict, which is escalating," Menon said.

The escalation of violence has had humanitarian consequences, like internal displacement of over one lakh people, he said, adding that this was a worrying development.      

"We join our voice with all those in Sri Lanka and abroad who hope violence comes to an end soon," he said.

India favours early end to the conflict which would enable all communities of Sri Lanka to live together in peace, Menon said.

He noted that Sri Lanka would be raising the issue of escalation of violence at the SAARC Summit to be held in New Delhi on April 3-4.

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