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Rajapaksa condoles Basu's death

world Updated: Jan 19, 2010 20:21 IST

Condoling the demise of Marxist patriarch and former West Bengal Chief Minister Jyoti Basu, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on - described it as a loss to India and the entire South Asia.

"Jyoti Basu's demise is a loss to the people of India as well as to all people of South Asia who look forward to such leadership, especially for the uplift of the peasantry and the working people, and national unity built on pluralism," Rajapaksa said in his condolence message.

"I am deeply grieved by the passing away of Shri Jyoti Basu a former Chief Minister of West Bengal and leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)," Rajapaksa added.

From his student days in UK, Basu was involved in India's freedom struggle and the rights of the working class, Rajapaksa said.

As the chief minister of West Bengal, Basu also instituted a Panchayati Raj System which was radical for its time, by giving the peasants and small farmers a say in their affairs, Rajapaksa said, adding the CPI(M) leader cooperated with private sector to bring modern industry to the state

"Shri Jyoti Basu was truly a towering figure in the politics of India. I send my own deepest sympathies, and that of the people of Sri Lanka, to the members of his bereaved family and his comrades in the CPI(M)," Rajapaksa said in his message.