India says anxious over Lanka buying arms from elsewhere

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New Delhi, Mar 26 (UNI) India today expressed serious concern over Sri Lanka's arms deals with other countries, saying the purchases would upset New Delhi's ''pre-eminent position'' in South Asia.

India also wanted Sri Lanka to treat the large Tamil minority in that country with dignity.

''We are faced with a situation where the collapse of the ceasefire seems inevitable. This could lead to a flash-point,'' National Security Advisor (NSA) M K Narayanan said here.

He said the Sri Lankan government was approaching the problem with a single-minded policy and objective of a military victory against the Tamil Tigers without any devolution of power.

Mr Narayanan also said India was anxious as Sri Lanka had been seeking arms from other countries.

''We have to ensure that India's pre-eminent position in the region is not compromised by Sri Lanka seeking arms from elsewhere,'' he added.

The NSA sought a national consensus on how much military assistance should be given to Sri Lanka and how much pressure India need to exert on Colombo.

Mr Narayanan was delivering the 25th Air Chief Marshal P C Lal memorial lecture here.

UNI AG AKJ KN2104

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