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India can't force Lanka to take a particular line, says Pranab
February 18, 2009 17:44 IST
The government on Wednesday virtually turned own demands of two Tamil parties, including United Progressive Alliance constituent Patali Makkal Katchi, for India's intervention to stop military offensive in Sri Lanka [Images], saying it cannot force a sovereign government of another country to take a particular line.
The assertion by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee [Images] came after PMK and Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam members expressed unhappiness over his statement in Lok Sabha on the situation in Sri Lanka and demanded its withdrawal.
Mukherjee expressed readiness to make "corrections" in his statement if there were any "discrepancies".
"... Government of India has no instrumentality under which it can force a sovereign government to take a particular
action. This is not simply possible," Mukherjee said.
Mukherjee's remark came after members of UPA partner PMK and the MDMK stormed the well of the House demanding stoppage of the war in Sri Lanka and also objected to Mukherjee's statement on the issue and wanted its withdrawal.
Mukherjee's said there was no two opinion in the House and the government on condemning the killing of innocent Tamils in crossfire in the ongoing security operations in Sri Lanka.
"Government is committed to provide all help to ensure the safety and security to innocent Tamils. We want this
conflict to come to an end," he said.
His remarks, however, did not satisfy the agitating members who staged a walkout. Maintaining that a devolution package for the Northern and Eastern provinces of the island nation had been worked out, Mukherjee said all efforts would be made to get the 1987 Indo-Sri Lanka accord implemented in letter and spirit.
Earlier, R Senthil of the PMK said "genocide of Tamils" was going on and it was "atrocious" that New Delhi [Images] seemed to be supporting the Sri Lankan government.
Making a forceful plea for stopping the war, his party colleague E Ponnusamy said the government's statements about
helping in rehabilitation of the Tamil population could only be put in practice only after the war is stopped.
The MDMK's C Krishnan wanted India to stop arms supplies to Sri Lanka saying "this is betrayal of the Tamils".
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