R. K. Radhakrishnan/ nanth Krishnan
Russia and China have reassured Sri Lanka of their support in its struggle to defeat the forces of destabilisation working from outside the island nation, in separate bilateral meetings between Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Presidents of both countries, in St. Petersburg.
“The Presidents of both Russia and China have conveyed their strong support. They made it clear that any external intervention will be unproductive,” the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister G.L.Peiris, told The Hindu over phone from St. Petersburg.
Both Russia and China shared the view that Sri Lanka should not be singled out by the international community for defeating terrorism, but should come forward and be constructive in their approaches on the next steps. India had earlier made its stand clear on the issue of single country resolutions at the United Nations. National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon had stated during his visit here that India did not support U.N. resolutions aiming at individual member states.
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakjsa is in the Russian city to attend the three-day St. Petersburg International Economic Forum to which Sri Lanka has been invited to take part as an Observer.
Mr. Rajapaksa met Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on the sidelines of the forum on Friday. “The Russian President told our [Sri Lankan] President that both countries face many common issues in terrorism,” said Prof. Peiris. Both Russia and Sri Lanka agreed that defeat of terrorism alone did not mean that the menace has been eradicated and wanted “strong collaboration” on post-terrorism issues that crop up.
Later in the day, Mr. Rajapaksa met Chinese President Hu Jintao. “The Chinese President was very emphatic in his assertion that this [the process of reconciliation] was a domestic affair of Sri Lanka and there should be no outside intervention,” said Prof. Peiris. Last month, China voiced strong support for Sri Lanka’s reconciliation efforts, indicating to Prof. Peiris in talks in Beijing that it would back Sri Lanka against increasing international pressure.