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No explosives sent to Lanka: Sonia

Earlier reports on explosives being sent to Lankan forces had triggered concern among political parties in Tamil Nadu.

india Updated: Dec 15, 2006 21:40 IST

Against the backdrop of reports on explosives being sent to Sri Lankan Armed Forces triggering concern among political parties in Tamil Nadu, Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Friday said the central authorities have assured her that no such explosives have been provided to that country which can be used against its civilians.

"I have been assured by the central authorities that the policy of Government of India is not to provide the Sri Lankan authorities with any arms or materials that could be used against the civilian population, especially Tamil population", she said in a letter to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, a copy of which was made available to the press.

Replying to Karunanidhi's letter of December 1 about reports on interception of a vehicle carrying explosives, Gandhi said she was told that a shipping agent was "claiming that the explosives were meant to be distributed to private explosives sellers through the Sri Lankan Navy for use in sea blasting, dredging and blasting of rocks".

Central authorities were trying to confirm this. "The circumstances under which and the authority under whom the detonators and explosives were sent would, I am assured, be properly enquired into", she said.

Gandhi said Congress party's stand was that nothing should be done that would affect the lives of the Tamils in Sri Lanka whose "welfare remains a matter of utmost concern".

Gandhi's letter comes after several political parties, including PMK, had alleged explosives were sent to Sri Lankan Armed Forces.

First Published: Dec 15, 2006 21:22 IST