Opposition UNP accuses Lankan govt of appeasing India

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Colombo, June 7: Ahead of a top level visit by Indian officials to Sri Lanka, the opposition UNP today (June 7) accused the government of appeasing New Delhi to win its backing in the backdrop of a UN advisory panel report which accused Colombo and the LTTE of war crimes.

"We are aware that a visit by an Indian delegation is to enforce the implementation of what had been agreed during the minister GL Peiris'' visit. What are these agreements? The government must tell the public," Tissa Attanayake, the UNP general secretary told reporters.

The main opposition comments came ahead of a Colombo visit by team of Indian officials comprising Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, Defence Secretary Mohan Kumar and National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon. Their aim is to ensure lasting peace in Sri Lanka.

"Some of these issues are debatable and disadvantageous to Sri Lanka," Attanayake asserted that Sri Lankan government had gone out if its way to please India in order to be friendly with its giant South Asian neighbour.

Rao and Menon will be visiting Colombo later this week to discuss the progress in the reconciliation process in the north of the country and the UN Secretary General's Expert panel report on accountability in Sri Lanka.

Further attacking India, Attanayake said, "Almost all of major development projects in the north are to be directed by Indian influence based on Indian proposals. The contentious CEPA (Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement) is also to be implemented on Indian insistence."

"This policy of trying to use Indian friendship to sidestep international opposition to Sri Lanka over other important issues would be extremely damaging," Attanayake noted.

PTI

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