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Indian Home Minister, Foreign Minister differ on Colombo’s war

[TamilNet, Friday, 6 February 2009 07:52 No Comment]

"We are not happy that the Sri Lankan government has resumed hostilities," said India’s Home Minister P. Chidambaram, who said the LTTE must lay down arms and come to the negotiating table. However, within a few hours after his statement, Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee approved the Sri Lankan military offensive by saying: "Along with military offensive, the Sri Lankan government should ensure that the lives of innocent civilians should be protected."

Meanwhile, Erik Solheim, the Norwegian minister of International Development, who is currently on a visit to India, met National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan and UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon on Thursday and discussed the crisis in Sri Lanka with them. Talking to Norwegian journalists from India, Mr. Erik Solheim said that the LTTE "needed to understand that it cannot win militarily," and added that the Tigers now have to lay down their weapons and concentrate on fighting through political means.

He further said there was a jointly agreed statement by the Co-chairs on Tuesday (Norway, Japan, EU and USA) where they called on the Tigers to lay down their arms and negotiate with Colombo to end the fighting. India has also expressed the same view on Thursday, he said.

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