Wednesday, October 22, 2008
The Indian government says a political solution is what is needed for Sri Lanka’s national question.
In a statement issued on 16 October, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said the solution should be based within the framework of united Sri Lanka.
“India will do all in its power to achieve this goal, to ameliorate the humanitarian conditions in Sri Lanka and has been making representations to the Government of Sri Lanka at several levels,” the statement added.
India has also raised serious concern over the civilians caught in the conflict.
“It is essential that their rights be respected, that they be immune from attacks, and that food and other essential supplies be allowed to reach them,” Mr. Mukherjee’s statement said.
President Rajapaksa at Temple Trees (Library photo by Chandana Perera)
President says Tamil Nadu is misinformed of Sri Lankan situation
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa says his government looks after all citizens including the displaced in the north.
"I carry out this responsibility to the fullest especially with regard to the people who are temporarily displaced in the North, due to the ongoing military operations to defeat terrorism. There is a wrong impression created in Tamil Nadu that this not been done. This is furthest from the correct position," Mr. Rajapaksa told heads and editors of Sri Lanka media.
The number of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) is "inflated", he said, and accused some Tamil newspapers of not portraying a correct picture of the situation in the rebel-held Vanni.
"At present there are food supplies for two months in the affected areas where the IDPs are not more than 150,000," a statement issued by the Presidential Secretariat quoting the president said.
Sri Lanka rebels hit back with suicide ship attacks
©AFP/File - Lakruwan Wanniarachchi
COLOMBO (AFP) - Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels struck back against a major government offensive Wednesday with suicide attacks on merchant ships off the island's northern coast, defence officials said.
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rammed explosives-laden boats against the MV Ruhuna and MV Nimalawa which were supplying the besieged Jaffna peninsula, officials said.
The ethnic guerrillas also fought a sea battle with naval units defending the port of Kankesanthurai on the peninsula. At least six members of the elite Black Sea Tiger suicide squad may have perished in the attack, officials said.
"One of the merchant vessels -- MV Nimalawa -- was crippled and the other was damaged," said a defence official who declined to be named. He said a salvage operation was underway.
He said crew were rescued by the navy and there were no reports of casualties among the merchant sailors, who were escorted by heavily armed navy troops.
The guerrillas had used three suicide boats and one of them capsized and the navy managed to capture it without its occupants, who were believed to have been killed in the naval firing, the official said. Source AFP