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India denies sending message to Tamil Tigers

India has politely refused the pressure by the co-chairs - the European Union, Norway, Japan and the US - to join them.

india Updated: May 30, 2006 11:31 IST

The Government on Monday clarified that it had not sent any message to Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger guerrillas on the island's floundering peace process.

External Affairs Ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna was reacting to published reports that National Security Adviser MK Narayanan passed on a message to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) through Norwegian minister Erik Solheim when the two met on Saturday.

"As you know, we have for several years been sharing our assessments with the Norwegians about the developments in Sri Lanka and the peace process. This does not amount to sending any messages to LTTE or any other party," Sarna said.

"We conveyed to Solheim our well known view that there must be a peaceful, negotiated settlement that is acceptable to all sections of the Sri Lankan society and which preserves the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka," he added.

The clarification came a day ahead of a meeting of Sri Lanka's donor co-chairs in Tokyo on Tuesday.

India also lent its support to an early resumption of talks between the Sri Lankan government and LTTE and reiterated its support for a "peaceful negotiated settlement" of the conflict in the island nation.

"Norway is continuing in its efforts to bring both parties to the table for a political dialogue. We support Norway in its efforts and express the hope that talks can resume at the earliest," Sarna said.

India has politely refused the pressure by the co-chairs - the European Union, Norway, Japan and the US - to join them.

But an official of the Indian embassy will be briefed on the discussions.

In his meeting with Narayanan on Saturday, Solheim had briefed him on escalating violence in Sri Lanka and again urged New Delhi to play a bigger role in restoring peace and stability in the island nation.