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'India must be proactive in Lanka'

December 06, 2006 14:20 IST

While India would not be able to 'impose' its views on the Sri Lankan government or the Tamils, it could certainly take "a more proactive" role to resolve the decades old ethnic strife, Art of Living Founder Sri Sri Ravishankar said in Chennai on Wednesday.

"In the peace process all should sit together and resolve the issue. There can't be a readymade and immediate solution to the crisis. And India cannot also impose its views but play a proactive role to resolve the issue," Ravishankar told PTI.

Asked what type of role could India play and would not India's intervention justify other countries involvement in Kashmir, the new age Guru, said there was no need to get mixed up between the issues.

"Each issue has different merit. Kashmir is not the same as Sri Lanka. We should not be worried about other issues. We should go for that which is justified," he said.

He said India might not be able to bring peace in the island nation overnight. "But we have to take it up as a mission. Even if we fail ten times, we should attempt the 11th time and keep trying," he said.

He said since both the Sri Lankan government and LTTE were looking and appealing to India to intervene, India should intervene and can play big role in solving the issue. "What more do you want?" he asked.

On December 4, favouring a positive role for India in resolving the ethnic crisis in the island nation, he had said people in Sri Lanka were struggling and suffering without adequate food, water, healthcare and transportation. India should immediately initiate measures to restore peace, by intervening, he said..

Asked about the Mullaiperiyar issue, Ravishankar, said appropriate evaluation of the dam's strength and weaknesses should be done by a panel of engineers and experts in an "unbiased" manner.

"I think experts and engineers should evaluate the dam without bias because only they have the knowledge about the dam. They must take national interest into consideration and should have broader vision that will benefit the whole country", he said.

Asked about farmers committing suicide, he said it was this reason that his foundation recently launched a "Mobile Agriculture Institute" where agriculture expertise would be made available on the farmers' door steps.

The mobile van would go about in the rural areas and would also act as a soil testing laboratory, he said adding that the idea was also to promote organic farming.

"We ran a near similar programme in Wynad (Kerala) and now the situation is that the number of suicide incidents has considerably reduced," he said.

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