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HindustanTimes Fri,26 Dec 2014

Lanka should solve Tamil issue in India's interest: NSA

PTI  New Delhi, March 22, 2013
First Published: 21:44 IST(22/3/2013) | Last Updated: 21:47 IST(22/3/2013)

Amid continued agitation hereover Sri Lankan Tamil issue, national security adviser Shivshankar Menon on Friday said it is in India's interest that Sri Lanka solves its ethnic issues and make the minority community confident of its fate there.

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"Equally, it is in our interest that Sri Lanka remains a close friend and does not affect our security adversely", Menon said in New Delhi.

"It is clearly in India's interest that Sri Lanka solves its ethnic problems in a manner which makes each community, particularly the Sri Lankan Tamils, confident that they are masters of their own fates, their own destiny and free to enjoy their rights within the framework of a united Sri Lanka," Menon said.

He was delivering the 12th VK Krishna Menon Memorial Lecture organised by The Indian Society of International Law.

Menon also said two national interests often do not coincide and the country has to choose between them.

"Equally it is in our interest that Sri Lanka remains a close friend and does not affect our security adversely. But the demand of these two interests do not always coincide and we then have to chose between them," he said.

The NSA added the definition of security has expanded and now it "includes economic security, food security, energy security and other aspects of human security in addition to the traditional hard aspects of defence and law and order."  

He said the new domains of space, cyber and information technology have changed the definition of security along with the responsibility of the society and state to deal with it.

Comparing the present security environment with Cold War era, he said the power today is more evenly distributed but at the same time it is more "lumpy" in nature.

 "Power is much more evenly distributed today than during the Cold War. At the same time, it is much more lumpy. In political terms, the 50s were dominated by a principal contradiction of US or USSR. Today, we see multiple balances of power and it is being changed rapidly as several powers are rising simultaneously," Menon said.

He also said the present world of "great fluidity" offers India a great opportunity.

"We are in a world of great fluidity, change, uncertainty and equally a world of great opportunity. If India wants to change its condition, then this very fluidity offers an opportunity," the NSA said.

He also referred to the global economic crisis, which has impacted a large number of countries, as an example of expanding balance of power.

"It is a welcome fact that when the world economic crisis takes place, it is not the G-7 but the G-20 which includes some developing countries and some others. It is welcome that it happens," he said.

On development of India, the NSA pointed to various factors due to which the country has made rapid progress.

"If you look at conventional issues, in area of defence India has been stronger than it was ever before and since 1998 our strategic deterrence extends to nuclear power and we have also learnt to deal with a sub-conventional and asymmetric threats like cross-border terrorism," he noted.

If you look at the economic progress, it is clear that the economy has grown at a faster pace which was never there in history and probably faster than the rest of the world, he said.

"We have 30 years of 6.5% growth and we are now the fourth largest economy and this has been possible because of India's engagement with the rest of the world," Menon said.


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