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Stop fund raising activities of LTTE: SL tells int. community

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, May 9 (UNI) Sri Lanka today asked the international community to curb LTTE's fund raising activities to bring it back to the negotiating table and convey to the rebels that the onus lay with it to ensure that the peace process moves forward.

Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, wrapping up his three-day official visit to India, said at a press conference that the European Union (EU) must put the LTTE in the banned list to get them back to the negotiating table.

Making it amply clear that Colombo wanted to resolve the ethnic problem in the island nation through the democratic process of discussion within the framework of a united Sri Lanka, the Foreign Minster said the international community must bring pressure on the LTTE by using all forms available with them to get them back to the negotiating table.

''For the government of Sri Lanka, there is only one desirable option, namely, a negotiated political solution that meets the aspirations of all communities and preserves the territorial integrity of an undivided Sri Lanka. The internatinal community must therefore make it clear to the LTTE that the decision as to whether the peace process goes ahead, rests entirely with them,'' he said.

Mr Samaraweera, who met several Indian leaders including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during the past two days, said he had not put any proposals to the Indian government on how to put pressure on the LTTE to return to the negotiating table.

''I wasn't here to put proposals before the Indian government...

It was an exchage of ideas. I am happy that the government of India has always stood by our territorial integrity,'' he said.

Mr Samaraweera, who also held discussions with Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee yesterday, said India is studying proposals for Indo-Sri Lankan Defence cooperation.

At the same time, he described as ''exaggerated'' the reports that Sri Lanka had stepped up Defence cooperation with Pakistan and China.


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