India on Thursday said it does not want influx of Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka into its territory, saying it is the responsibility of the island nation to provide food and shelter to civilians displaced because of hostilities there.
"We will not like influx of refugees to Tamil Nadu because of a situation over which we have no control. We are prevailing upon them (Sri Lanka), it is your responsibility to provide food, shelter and medicine to your displaced people," External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said in the Rajya Sabha.
He was replying to clarifications sought on his suo motu statement made in the House yesterday on the situation in Sri Lanka.
When senior Indian officials visited Sri Lanka recently, they told their counterparts that New Delhi would like to have an overall assessment before meeting their requirements. This was because "we would not like international players in our backyard", Mukherjee said.
He was specifically responding to the concerns of Leader of the Opposition Jaswant Singh over China, Sri Lanka and Pakistan forging strategic relations in the region.