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India not playing any military role: Sri Lanka
Sridhar Krishnaswami in Washington
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January 26, 2008 09:36 IST

India does not play any military role in the Sri Lankan conflict, the country's envoy to the US has said, while hailing New Delhi's role in the "political context".

"In the current military campaign there has been no role of India. But in a political context it has been a very positive role they have played and we are very appreciative of that. And from understandable reasons India does not get involved in the military campaign," Ambassador Bernard Goonetilleke said in response to a question from PTI.

He was speaking in Washington at a discussion on the 'Ceasefire Agreement, the Peace Process and the International Community'.

The ambassador said Sri Lanka [Images] will not return to the negotiating table with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam unless the rebels give up their demand for a separate state, while maintaining that it was under no pressure to restart peace talks.

"If the LTTE demand for a separate state is non-negotiable, what exactly are we going to negotiate with them? How can a democratically elected government hand over a part of its sovereign territory to an undemocratic entity like the LTTE, which engages in terrorism?" he said.

"No, No," the top envoy replied when asked if there is pressure from the US to negotiate with the rebels.

Goonetilleka accused the LTTE of using peace talks as a "ploy" to regroup and replenish their supplies, and said countries who repeatedly call for a return to peace talks are failing to understand the nature of the conflict.

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