Narayanasamy rejects Gotabaya Rajapaksa's charge

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V Narayanasamy
Chennai, April 12: India never extended support to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as alleged by Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Union Minister V Narayanasamy told newspersons here on Friday.

Rejecting Rajapaksa's charge that India had fomented trouble in the island nation, the minister said: "As far as India is concerned, Indira and Rajiv Gandhi supported Tamils. We even lost Rajiv Gandhi (the former prime minister was assassinated by the LTTE). He sent the Indian Peace Keeping Force to help Tamils."

Stressing that "Rajapaksa's statement is unacceptable", Narayanasamy laid the blame on Sri Lanka for neglecting the religious minorities. "... Tamils took to terrorism because their rights were denied," the minister pointed out.

Narayanasamy made it clear that India has a responsibility to ensure the safety of ethnic Tamils even if they live in other countries. This is why New Delhi backed the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution that demanded a credible probe into the Lankan war crimes, he added.

Rajapaksa had earlier accused India of promoting terrorism in Sri Lanka. "Those demanding accountability on Sri Lanka's part for alleged atrocities committed during the last 100 days of the conflict were silent on the origin of terrorism here," he noted in an interview with the Colombo-based newspaper Daily News.

The brother of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa further averred that "People of all communities would have been still suffering the horrors of war, if not for the eradication of terrorism in May 2009, following a three-year combined security forces campaign."

His remarks are a clear indication of the Sri Lankan government's unhappiness over the passage of the US-sponsored resolution at the UNHRC meet in Geneva. Colombo would have been pleased if New Delhi either voted against it or at least abstained. However, neither of these two options was exercised.

Ironically, major political parties in Tamil Nadu are also upset with the Centre on the same issue. The DMK pulled out of the ruling UPA because India did not press for a stronger resolution that condemned the genocide in Sri Lanka.

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