Military solution no answer to Lanka crisis : India

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New Delhi, Jan 4 (UNI) In a guarded reaction to the withdrawal of ceasefire with the LTTE by the Sri Lankan government, India today said terrorism in the island nation could be ended through settlement of political, constitutional and other issues, and military solution was not the answer.

An External Affairs Ministry spokesman said here that for India, any step leading to reduction in levels of violence and human suffering in Sri Lanka was welcome.

However, recently violence, tension and conflict in Sri Lanka had increased.

At the same time, the spokesman said, India was ''acutely conscious'' that a settlement of political, constitutional and other issues within the framework of a united Sri Lanka with which all communities are comfortable, was required.

''Only through such a settlement, lasting peace can return to that troubled country. We strongly believe that there is no military solution to the issue,'' the spokesman added.

The Sri Lankan government on January 2 decided to pull out of the now defunct 2002 ceasefire agreement with Tamil Tigers. The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting following a proposal by Prime Minister Rathnasiri Wickramanayaka. It was conveyed to the Norwegian peace-brokers yesterday.

The agreement relating to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) also would be terminated.

UNI RB MSJ KN1829

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