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Gotabaya blames India for 30-year-war, PMO slams remark

April 12, 2013 15:40 IST

India on Friday disapproved of a top Sri Lankan official's reported remark about it regarding terrorism in that country, saying the armed conflict there was a result of Colombo denying rights to Tamils there.

Responding to Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa's reported remark that India could never absolve itself of the responsibility for creating terrorism in his country, Union Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office V Narayanasamy said the statement was not acceptable.

"As far as India is concerned (late prime ministers) Indira and Rajiv Gandhi supported Tamils. We even lost Rajiv Gandhi (in an assassination by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam). He sent Indian peacekeeping force to help Tamils. Rajapaksa's statement is unacceptable. Sri Lanka is responsible for terrorism as Tamils took to terrorism because their rights were denied," he told reporters at the airport in Chennai. New Delhi did not support any kind of terrorist activities, he said.

India has a duty to protect Tamils wherever they are and it had pressed for independent and credible investigation into alleged war crimes by Sri Lankan army at the United Nations Human Rights Council, he said.

"Unfortunately, state political parties are concealing that. The truth will come out ultimately," the minister of state in the PMO added. He also denied the Centre was not acting on attacks on fishermen from Tamil Nadu by Sri Lankan navy.

Indian consular officials were immediately asked to work for the release of fishermen arrested by that Navy, he said, adding that talks between fishermen of the two countries could ensure a lasting solution to the matter.

The minister also called for more patrolling of the Indian Coast Guard and naval ships in the area to prevent attacks on local fishermen.

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