Indian External Affairs Minister S M Krishna today asked Sri Lanka to observe "restraint" while dealing with Indian fishermen who stray into its waters during talks with his Sri Lankan counterpart G L Peiris.
Prof. Peiris currently is in India to explain the government’s position on a UN report accusing Sri Lanka of "war crimes".
During a meeting, Krishna and Peiris, on a three-day visit to India, discussed bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest.
Official sources said Krishna conveyed to Peiris that the safety of Indian fishermen was of utmost importance and Sri Lanka should restrain from using force on them if they stray into the country's waters.
Ahead of Peiris' visit, reports from Colombo had indicated that he would be here to discuss the report by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon's expert panel and lobby for India's support. However, there was no official word on what transpired at the meeting.
The panel was constituted to study the happenings during the last phase of the war against the LTTE, probe allegations of war crimes and advise the UN chief on the issue.
The report has accused the Lankan government and the now vanquished Tamil Tiger rebels of targeting and killing thousands of civilians during the last phase of the civil war that ended on May 19, 2009 with the death of Velupillai Prabhakaran.
The report also advocated setting up of an independent investigation.
The UN Secretary General has made it clear that any independent international investigation will be instituted only after the member states call for it.
Measured in its response, India had said it was willing to engage with Sri Lanka on the report.
Significantly, AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa has been pressing the Centre to move the UN against Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa for "war crimes and genocide" after the world body's report on civilian casualties during the ethnic strife.
"India can no longer remain a silent spectator," said the AIADMK leader and added, "If necessary, an economic blockade will have to be resorted to to bring a recalcitrant Sri Lanka to heel."
Peiris is also understood to have briefed Krishna on measures taken by his government in relation to its reconciliation process and its progress.
Peiris is likely to meet Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, National Security Advisor Shiv Shanker Menon and Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao.
Describing the relationship with Sri Lanka as of "critical importance" for both countries, Krishna said India was willing to do "everything" possible to help the island nation.
"Our relationship with Sri Lanka is of critical importance not only to India but to Sri Lanka also. We have always found that in Sri Lanka we have a reliable partner, a steadfast friend of India and we wish well for Sri Lanka. They have gone through very tumultuous times in the last three decades and now they are settling down," Krishna said.
"India would be willing to do everything that is possible, depending upon the comfort level of Sri Lanka, to help them, to assist them in whatever manner they want us to help them to settle down," he said. PTI
Comments - 10
raju Tuesday, 17 May 2011 07:02 AM
India you too the partner of this war, and you must also get ready to answer the question raised by the UN panel report for the killing of thousands of innocent Tamil civilians in the final stage of the war against the tigers in may 2009. no more double game. please.
Guru Tuesday, 17 May 2011 08:08 AM
Don't ask, show your power.
CP Monday, 16 May 2011 04:20 PM
Krishna, what would you do if they use force?...... so far nothing
Bumba Monday, 16 May 2011 04:24 PM
It would be nice for GL to have a meeting with Jayalalithaa and discuss matter of mutual interest.
freehit Monday, 16 May 2011 04:53 PM
Don't use force on Lankan fishermen either who stray into Indian waters, Krishna. What is sauce for goose is surely sauce for gander!
Konde Bendapuchhena Tuesday, 17 May 2011 10:45 AM
Mal mala dala Piliganna kiyanawada
ICC Monday, 16 May 2011 11:48 PM
( The civil war that ended on may 19,2009 with the death of prabhaharan. ) HOW MANY PEOPLE DIE AFTER THIS DATE
WHY ? THAT IS THE QUESTION
Vinay Monday, 16 May 2011 11:58 PM
Yes they should be treated very gently and put in the jail for 3 weeks. Confiscate their crafts and drop them off in a Luxury yacht to their territorial waters.
Tom Tuesday, 17 May 2011 04:45 AM
At last, acknowledgement of poaching! Indian Navy should set an exple by not allowing them to come in...
Thomas Tuesday, 17 May 2011 04:57 AM
Fishermen's trwlers are not equipped with Radars & GPS, etc, therefore both sides must show restraint in dealing with them
Comments will be edited (grammar, spelling and slang) and authorized at the discretion of Daily Mirror online. The website also has the right not to publish selected comments.