|PM underlines govt stand on Sri Lanka|
|Tuesday, 04 November 2008|
BY SRIDHAR KUMARASWAMI
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is believed to have told the tri-services commanders’ conference on Saturday that, while India has always cared for the welfare of the Sri Lankan Tamils, India also needs to remain committed to the unity and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka. Sources said that it had also been made clear by the government that India cannot interfere in the operational right of the Sri Lankan armed forces to operate in their (Sri Lankan) territory and territorial waters.While the Prime Minister is understood to have dwelt over the security situation in India and its neighbourhood, he is also believed to have spoken about the global financial meltdown and its implications.
Experts believe that import of weaponry from abroad will become more expensive now, with the strengthening of the American Dollar against the Rupee. India is heavily dependent on imported weaponry for its armed forces, even as defence minister A.K. Antony recently told Parliament that India must attain self-reliance in the sphere of weaponry and not be dependent on foreign armaments.
Such was the secrecy over the Prime Minister’s address on Saturday at the Joint Commanders’ Conference that no information on the PM’s address was made public that day.The defence ministry had also refused to comment on the contents of the Prime Minister’s speech that day.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
The UPA government had come under criticism in Parliament recently over alleged firing by the Sri Lankan Navy on Indian fishermen as well as alleged human rights violations committed on Sri Lankan Tamils by the Sri Lankan armed forces.The Union government is also under tremendous pressure from political parties in Tamil Nadu, including the UPA’s own constituents like the DMK and the PMK to "save" the Sri Lankan Tamils and the DMK had made it clear in Parliament recently that it had already sent an SOS to the Union government in this regard.
The Indian Navy is also believed to have stepped up surveillance in Indian territorial waters bordering Sri Lanka.
(Courtesy : Asian Age )
|Last Updated ( Thursday, 23 July 2009 )|
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