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India has no sympathy for LTTE: Pranab

January 27, 2009 13:26 IST

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As he prepared to visit Sri Lanka, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee [Images] on Tuesday made it clear that India has no sympathy for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam but said that civilian Tamils have to be prevented from becoming victims of the conflict in the island nation.

"We are for fight against terrorists and all sorts of terrorism. Therefore, we have no sympathy for any terrorist activity indulged in by any organisation, particularly LTTE [Images] (which) is a banned organisation in India," he told media persons.

He made the remarks hours before his departure to Sri Lanka [Images], where the government has claimed to have captured Mullaithivu, the last bastion of LTTE.

At the same time, Mukherjee said India is concerned over the plight of civilians and 'we shall have to see how civilians can be protected and they do not become hapless victims of the situation'.

He said he is going to discuss these issues with President Mahinda Rajapaksa and other Sri Lankan leaders. He will also meet Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama during his two-day visit beginning on Tuesday.

He is expected to impress upon the Rajapaksa government the need for looking for a political settlement to the ethnic problem to ensure aspirations of all communities, including ethnic Tamils, are taken care of within a united Sri Lanka.

India believes that military victory is no solution to the problems afflicting Sri Lanka.

Mukherjee is also expected to press for early implementation of the devolution package, which is aimed at ensuring equal rights and privileges to all sections of the society.

Mukherjee's visit is taking place in the backdrop of repeated demands by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi and some other political parties of the state that India should send the External Affairs Minister to Sri Lanka to stop the army offensive.

Mukherjee recalled that Tamil Nadu assembly had passed a resolution some time back and a delegation of Tamil political parties had met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images].

They had "suggested that India should look into the sad plight of civilian Tamils who have been victims of fight between LTTE and Sri Lankan armed forces," Mukherjee said.

"I will go to Sri Lanka and have discussions with the President and other authorities there and to see what best could be done in this situation," Mukherjee said.




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