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US says Lanka perilously close to civil war

US has said the government and the people of the island nations must get rid of the "pernicious" influence of the LTTE.

india Updated: May 17, 2006 12:20 IST

Warning that Sri Lanka was "perilously" close to a civil war, the United States has said the government and the people of the island nations must get rid of the "pernicious" influence of the LTTE.

"The government of Sri Lanka and the people of Sri Lanka are finding themselves perilously close to the outbreak of a civil war...We (the US) support the people of Sri Lanka," US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns said during his speech on United States-India Relations at the Carnegie Endowment on Tuesday.

"We think they should be rid of the pernicious influence of the Tamil Tigers, the LTTE", he said adding "we do not support in any way, shape or form the terrorist tactics of the Tamil Tigers of the last several weeks.

Observing that the US is a member of the International Consortium, including the Japanese government and the EU, which is working closely with Norwegian mediators to bring the Sri Lankan government and the Tigers back to the negotiating table," the top administration official said he will visit Tokyo shortly for talks to resolve the problem.

"I will be going to Tokyo in ten days time to join with all those countries to try to find a way to help the government of Sri Lanka cope with this insurgency and convince the Tamil Tigers to go back to the peace talks in Switzerland as they had committed to before this recent outbreak of violence," he said.