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Pranab visit to Lanka unlikely in near future

[Express Buzz, Saturday, 13 December 2008 13:58 No Comment]

tr baalu Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee is unlikely to be visiting Sri Lanka to talk about a ceasefire, in the near future, according to diplomatic sources here.


Reacting to a local news report that the Indian Shipping Minister T R Baalu had said in New Delhi that Mukherjee would be in Colombo on Monday and Tuesday, the sources said that they had no information whatsoever on the visit.


In fact, they discounted an early visit in the context of the ongoing winter session of parliament in which one of the main issues is Pakistan’s role in the Mumbai blasts and other terror activities on Indian soil. Political circles here feel that Sri Lanka would be put on the back burner for sometime.


However, since the Prime Minister had told the Tamil Nadu political parties and Chief Minister M Karunanidhi that Mukherjee would visit Sri Lanka, a visit was on the cards, diplomatic sources affirmed.


US CALLS FOR POLITICAL SOLUTION TO AID REFUGEES: US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Robert Blake, on Thursday called for an “immediate” political solution to help the Tamil civilians trapped in the war zone in the Wanni to come out to the government- held areas in south Sri Lanka.


“A political solution will help reassure the more than 230,000 people in the Wanni, that they can move to the south and enjoy their freedom under the present government,” Blake was quoted as saying by Daily Mirror.

Reaching an “immediate” political solution would also disprove the LTTE’s claim that it was the sole representative of the Tamil people, he said.


The US envoy noted that many in Sri Lanka believed that there was no need for a political solution or that such a solution could wait until the LTTE was militarily defeated. But he himself believed that while the LTTE could not be tolerated, the rights of all Sri Lankans must be protected and promoted through a political solution.

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