New Delhi, Oct 16 (UNI) India tonight expressed grave concern at the situation in Sri Lanka, reaffirming its opposition to a military solution or ''battle-field victories,'' and asserted that New Delhi would do everything in its power to achieve the goal of a peaceful solution to the conflict and to ameliorate the sufferings of the people there.
In a hard-hitting statement, a day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed concern at the situation in the island nations, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said India was particularly worried about the humanitarian aspect of the continuing conflict against ciivilians whio had been caught up in circumstances not of their making.
It was essential that their rights be respected and they be immune from such attacks and that food and other essential supplies by alowed to reach them.
''The situation in Sri Lanka remains a matter of grave concern to us in India. We are particularly worried about the humanitarian aspet of the continuing conflict on civilians who have been caught up in circumstances not of their making. It is essential that their rights be respected, that they be immune from attacks, and that food and other essential supplies be allowed to reach them,'' the statement said.
Mr Mukherjee said India had consistently made it clear that a return to normalcy could not be brought about by military means or battle field victories.
''What is required in Sri Lanka is a peacefully negotiated political settlement which allows each community to realize its own potential within the framework of a united Sri Lanka,'' he said.
The External Affairs Minister said India would do ''all in its power'' to achieve this goal, to ameliorate the humanitarian conditions in Sri Lanka and added that India had been making representations to the Government of Sri Lanka at several levels.
Mr Mukherjee said the other issue which was engaging the Indian Government's effort, is the harassment and killing of Indian fishermen in neighbouring areas.
He called for ceasing such killings forthwith and asserted that the Government would be taking steps to ensure this.
The Prime Minister had, after the third IBSA summit here yesterday, expressed concern at the situation in Sri Lanka and asserted that military victory was no solution to the problem in the island nation.
He had also called for a politically-negotiated settlement of the issue which would respect the unity and integrity of Sri Lanka.
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