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SL slams India's 'double standard'

Lankan press says India has one policy on terror for itself and another for their country, writes PK Balachandran.

india Updated: Jul 16, 2006 16:47 IST

The Sri Lankan press has accused India of using a double standard in its policy towards terrorism - one for itself and another for Sri Lanka.

Articles and editorials said that India cannot lecture to Sri Lanka about the wisdom of talking to the LTTE " terrorists" and finding a solution based on power sharing, and at the same time vowing to go hammer and tongs at the terrorists who bombed Mumbai.

In an editorial The Sunday Times contrasted the homilies delivered in Colombo by the Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran, and the tough line against terrorism that the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh took following the carnage in Mumbai.

Instead of assisting its southern neighbour to "combat terrorism in all its forms" and fight it "till it is wiped out", as it vowed in its own case, India had come up with "another homily about a devolution package" in the Sri Lankan case, the paper pointed out.

It said that the Mumbai blasts were a reflection of the dissatisfaction of the people of Jammu and Kashmir over the power sharing arrangement there.

That being the case, it would not be proper for India to tell Sri Lanka that power sharing was a panacea for the problem of separatism and terrorism, the paper argued.

Talking "duplicitously" was a syndrome which had hit big nations, a syndrome these nations might not even be aware of, the paper said.

The duplicity of the big nations had become a "perennial problem" which smaller nations would have to cope with, it concluded.

In her weekly column Political Panorama on Saturday, Shakuntala Perera, contrasted the Indian stand vis-a-vis Pakistan following the Mumbai blasts and its stand on the LTTE.

"India asked Pakistan to join them to defeat terrorism based on an ideology based on extremism and violence. Yet they asked Sri Lanka to strike some political deal with the LTTE which has espoused extremist terrorism over two decades."

"The LTTE exercises ethnic cleansing, massacres entire villages and abducts children for war. Still India joins the rest of the world  in telling its victims to talk peace," Perera said.

The Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran had asked the government to fulfil its obligations to the Ceasefire Agreement with the LTTE, even though the LTTE had violated it 3754 times against a few hundred times which the Sri Lankan armed forces had done.

While India asked Pakistan to dismantle terror camps, it asked Sri Lanka to consider the Indian Constitution as the model for power sharing with the LTTE, Perera pointed out.