Tamils - a Trans State Nation..

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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Home > Struggle for Tamil Eelam > International Frame of  Struggle for Tamil Eelam  >  India & the Struggle for Tamil Eelam > Lanka owes India a deep debt of gratitude says Sri Lanka Foreign Minister Kadirgamar

India & the Struggle for Tamil Eelam

'Lanka owes India a deep debt of gratitude' 
says Sri Lanka Foreign Minister Kadirgamar

Times of India, 3 March 2001

COLOMBO: Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar said on Friday that Sri Lanka owed India a "deep debt of gratitude" for persuading Britain to include the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in its list of banned terrorist organisations.

"We owe a deep debt of gratitude to India. Unsolicited by us, Jaswant Singh (External Affairs Minister) made representations to the British government for the banning of the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam)," Kadirgamar said, two days after the British government's announcement of its new anti-terrorism laws.

Kadirgamar said he had taken up the matter with his Indian counterpart, but Singh had told him that New Delhi had already lobbied London. "That is a particularly friendly gesture by India," he said.

The foreign minister said he "saluted" Britain for imposing the ban, but denied state media reports that he was going to London over the weekend to personally convey Sri Lanka's gratitude.

"There is no truth in that. There is no question of one sovereign state thanking another. But I salute the British government for their action despite the pressures of a democratic society."

He said the British government had not given Sri Lanka a gift or done them a favor, but "all the governments of the world will applaud what Britain has done. They have done the right thing fairly and squarely."

Analysts and media in Colombo claimed the British ban was a major diplomatic victory for the government, which had feverishly lobbied to have the LTTE included in the list of "international terrorist organizations" released by London on February 28.

However, Kadirgamar cautioned both the Sinhalese majority and the Tamil minority communities against giving in to gloating or despair.

"I say to the Sinhala people of the country, please do not treat it as matter of glory, exultation or triumph. And to the Tamil people, I say, don't treat this as a blow against the Tamil people. The British government is not aiming any blow at any particular group of people," he said.

The government will, however, step up its campaign to have the LTTE banned in other countries, including Norway which is trying to prod the separatists and Colombo to thrash out apolitical settlement to the decades long ethnic conflict.

France, Germany, Canada and Australia were among the countries considering anti-terrorism legislation and Colombo will lobby the governments of these countries to proscribe the Tigers, he said. 



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