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Rao refutes charge of RAW-Fonseka link

[Express Buzz, Tuesday, 9 March 2010 08:58 No Comment]

Indian foreign secretary Nirupama Rao raised the issue of finding a lasting political solution to the ethnic question in Sri Lanka when she met President Mahinda Rajapaksa here on Sunday, an Indian diplomat told Express.

Rao had followed the tone set by the External Affairs Minister, S M Krishna, in Parliament a few days ago, when he called upon the Sri Lankan government to use the end of the armed conflict with the LTTE to move towards a lasting political solution.

However, the press release issued by the Sri Lankan presidential secretariat did not mention the Tamil question, leave alone finding a political solution to it. On the contrary, the press release quotes Rao as saying that she was delighted with the political awakening and enthusiasm she perceived in the North and East where the Tamils are predominant. “There is a great sense of hope and enthusiasm in the air, where ever I have been to,” Rao was quoted as saying.

Discussing current political developments in Sri Lanka, Rajapaksa said that the presence of more than 1,000 candidates for the forthcoming parliamentary elections in the North and East provinces alone, showed the enthusiasm of the people for the democratic process, and the change that had taken place with the restoration of peace. Political observers here say that while raising the issue (mainly to satisfy the Tamils in Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu), Rao would have taken care not to tread on Rajapaksa’s toes.

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