No military solution: Indian External Affairs Minister

[TamilNet, Saturday, 05 January 2008, 13:00 GMT]
Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee ruled out any military solution to the Sri Lankan problem two days after the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) formally scrapped the five-year ceasefire with the LTTE. Mr Mukherjee stressed that the solution to the island nation's problem "had to be found through dialogue and discussion" and called upon the Lankan government to address the problem by "fulfilling the legitimate aspirations of the ethnic groups."

Mr. Mukherjee added that India was "encouraging" the Sri Lankan government to resolve the problem through dialogue and implementation of a devolution formula. Noting that India was ''equally aware'' of legitimate aspirations of various ethnic groups, including Tamils, living in Sri Lanka, Mukherjee said their ''legitimate aspirations'' should be fulfilled within the ''arrangements in Sri Lanka within its territorial integrity and framework of Sri Lankan constitution''.

The minister said ''some steps'', including evolving a devolution formula, have been taken towards fulfilment of the aspirations of various ethnic groups.

He pointed out that a committee appointed by President Mahinda Rajapakse on devolution was going to submit its report shortly. ''We want those steps to be taken to logical conclusion.''


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