Outcome of Mukherjee's visit to Lanka disappointing: CPI | india | Hindustan Times
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Outcome of Mukherjee's visit to Lanka disappointing: CPI

india Updated: Jan 29, 2009 19:53 IST

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Expressing disappointment over the outcome of the External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee's recent visit to Sri Lanka, the CPI on Thursday said he should have "persuaded and pressurised" the government of the island nation to end its army offensive against the LTTE.

CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan told reporters in Chennai that his party was "very much disappointed with Mukherjee's discussions with Sri Lanka."

"A plea to expand the safety zone (for Tamils) is no guarantee for safety of life. Especially when the shelling and bombardment don't stop in this zone. Mukherjee should have made a serious effort, persuading and pressurising the Sri Lankan government, to end war," Bardhan said.

"The CPI is very much disappointed with Mukherjee's discussions with Sri Lanka," he said.

Saying Sri Lanka cannot "ignore" the voice of India, Bardhan also criticised the Centre for not respecting Tamil Nadu's sentiments in this issue.

If there was a "serious effort" from Colombo to end war, the LTTE "has to respond" and cannot "deliberately endanger lives of people by insisting on fighting," he said.

Outlining his party's stand for a united Sri Lanka, Bardhan said there should be a certain "degree of autonomy" for Tamils in Northern and Eastern parts of that country which according to him would "end discrimination".

Responding to the suicide of a 26-year-old man, allegedly to express solidarity with the Sri Lankan Tamils, Bardhan urged people to "refrain" from such ways of expressing their feelings, saying they won't solve the problem.