New Delhi: External affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday made it clear that India has no sympathy for LTTE but said that civilian Tamils have to be prevented from becoming victims of the conflict in the island nation.
“We are for fight against terrorists and all sorts of terrorism. Therefore, we have no sympathy for any terrorist activity indulged in by any organization, particularly LTTE (which) is a banned organization in India,” he told reporters.
He made the remarks hours before his departure to Sri Lanka, where the government has claimed to have captured Mullaithivu, the last bastion of LTTE.
At the same time, Mukherjee said India is concerned over the plight of civilians and “we shall have to see how civilians can be protected and they do not become hapless victims of the situation.”
He said he is going to discuss these issues with President Mahinda Rajapaksa and other Sri Lankan leaders. He will also meet foreign minister Rohitha Bogollagama during his two-day visit beginning on Tuesday.
Mukherjee is expected to impress upon the Rajapaksa government the need for looking for a political settlement to the ethnic problem to ensure aspirations of all communities, including ethnic Tamils, are taken care of within a united Sri Lanka.
India believes that military victory is no solution to the problems afflicting Sri Lanka.
He is also expected to press for early implementation of the devolution package which is aimed at ensuring equal rights and privileges to all sections of the society.
In the Tamil Nadu assembly during the question hour, the state finance minister K Anbhazhagan said the Union Minister was leaving for Sri Lanka after Karunanidhi made a request in this regard.
DMK chief M Karunanidhi had been pressing for the visit of Mukherjee to Colombo to prevail upon the Sri Lankan government to bring about a ceasefire in the ongoing military offensive in the north.
Last week, the state assembly adopted a resolution making “a final appeal” to the Centre to intervene and bring about a ceasefire in Sri Lanka.
In December 2008, Karunanidhi had led a delegation of political leaders from the state to PM Manmohan Singh, seeking India’s intervention.