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India rules out stopping military aid to Sri Lanka
October 24, 2008 00:16 IST
Against the backdrop of demands by political parties in Tamil Nadu to stop military aid to Sri Lanka [Images], India today virtually ruled out that option saying the island nation's security is "connected" with its security and it would not like "international players in our backyard".
External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said in the Rajya Sabha that there is no military solution to the raging ethnic conflict and again urged Sri Lanka to find a peacefully negotiated political settlement.
Mukherjee also took the opportunity to stress that India does not want influx of Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka into its territory, saying it is the "responsibility" of that country to provide food and shelter to civilians displaced because of the hostilities
He was replying to clarifications sought on his suo motu statement made in the House on the Sri Lanka situation.
"In our anxiety, we should not forget the strategic importance of that island and it is not only their security, it is closely connected with out security," Mukherjee said.
About the visit of three Indian officials to Sri Lanka, Mukherjee said "we told them that we can meet their security requirement provided you do not look around".
"What type of security arrangements should be made, what type of assistance they will require and what is their security requirement, there should be some common assessment because it is so close to us," he said, adding "Surely, we would not like to have the playground of international players at our backyard. These aspects are to be kept in view while making an assessment of the situation."
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