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Centre REJECTS TN assembly resolution on Sri Lanka

March 29, 2013 22:08 IST

The government on Friday rejected the resolution passed by the Tamil Nadu Assembly -- asking the Centre to stop treating Sri Lanka as a friendly nation, to slap sanctions on it and demand a referendum for a separate Tamil Eelam.

"There is no question of accepting them. That is not the only state that has a stake in this. What about the others? There are many other states. There are many other assemblies. The rest of India is not supporting this," External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said during an interview to a TV channel.

He was asked if the Centre was rejecting the three crucial aspects of the resolution adopted by the Tamil Nadu Assembly on March 27.

To each of the three demands, Khurshid responded with a firm "no".

"If all of India was to support (the recollection), it would have been another matter. But if one state supports something, we are sensitive to their concerns but we do not necessarily have to…," he said.

The assembly had adopted a resolution, moved by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, urging the Centre to take firm steps against Colombo till the "suppression" of Tamils was stopped and those responsible for "genocide and war crimes" faced a credible international probe.

The resolution came close on the heels of Jayalalithaa writing to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, suggesting that India should boycott the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting to be held in Colombo in November this year.

Asked if Finance Minister P Chidambaram was on board on the issue, he said, "I don't think Mr Chidambaram has taken a different view from anybody else in the government but Mr Chidambaram has very strong feelings about this issue".

 Khurshid expressed hope that Tamil sentiments on the issue will not spiral out of control.

"But certainly, it is a matter that we have to factor in our decision-making. We have to let things calm down. There are certain serious concerns. You mentioned some of our colleagues. I think that we owe it to them to factor in those concerns and address them," Khurshid said.

On the issue of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Colombo, Khurshid said the government has an open mind about it, but made it clear that as of today it was party to the collective decision.

Speaking on the Italian marines' issue, Khurshid complimented the Italian government.

"I think the Italian government has been very sensible. I think it has been more than fair. It took time to be persuaded. I have no problem in saying that they have done a good job, they have done a fair job," he said.

Asked if the marines would be spending their jail term in India if convicted by the special court, Khurshid drew attention to an agreement between the two countries.

"You know there is a treaty between Italy and India and that treaty has its own implications. I don't need to spell that out to anyone," he said.

As per the treaty, Italians convicted in India can serve their jail term back in their country.

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