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India’s Communist Party rejects apology by Lankan envoy

The Communist Party of India today (Mar. 15) rejected an apology rendered by Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam on his remarks about alleged connection between some Tamil parliamentarians and the LTTE and demanded he be withdrawn by his government immediately.

CPI National Secretary D Raja termed the remarks by the high commissioner as a “gross interference in the internal affairs” of the country, particularly the work of Indian parliament, PTI reports.

“The matter is so serious that the envoy’s apology is not acceptable. In fact, the government of India should take it up with all seriousness and demand that Sri Lankan government call back him from Delhi,” Raja said.

The envoy apologized for his comments alleging “friendship” between some members of AIADMK, DMK and MDMK and LTTE which, he said, should be investigated by New Delhi.

Raja, who met External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, told him that the government should take a serious view of the matter.

“I would like to apologize to MPs of Tamil Nadu if I have caused any discontent or concern or distress in their minds. I feel sorry about that,” the high commissioner said.

The diplomat was earlier quoted by an Indian newspaper as saying that New Delhi should investigate Indian MPs sympathetic to the Tamil cause.

“That is not what I meant,” he clarified, after meeting an official of the external affairs ministry where he was summoned to explain his remarks.

“What I meant say was the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) lobby groups abroad and in this region carrying on a campaign of disinformation (against Sri Lanka),” he said.

This, he added, was aimed at disrupting the process of reconciliation in Sri Lanka following the end of the long-drawn war in 2009. He said when he referred to “investigation”, he meant the Tamil lobby groups abroad, not Indian MPs.

He said the Indian foreign ministry official who met him “expressed very clearly the concerns of the Indian government” over his reported remarks.

Asked what stand he expected India to take at the Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva on the US-sponsored resolution on “war crimes” in Sri Lanka, the envoy was cautious: “India is a responsible country.”


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