SL has a right to take action against terrorists: Pranab
The EAM refuses to criticise Sri Lanka for abrogating the ceasefire pact with the LTTE, saying that India was "not party to it".Updated: Jan 12, 2008 14:07 IST
Sri Lanka is well within its right to take action against terrorists, but the government should also continue efforts to arrive at a solution to the problem of ethnic minorities, including the Tamils, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee has said.
Mukherjee has refused to criticise Sri Lanka for abrogating the ceasefire pact with the LTTE, saying that India was "not party to it (the ceasefire agreement)".
Answering a query on the abrogation of the ceasefire on Karan Thapar's "Devil's Advocate" programme for CNN-IBN to be telecast on Sunday, Mukherjee said: "We shall have to see what impact it has."
"Of late the clashes between Sri Lankan forces and LTTE terrorists have increased. So far as the terrorism is concerned, our position is that India's position is zero tolerance. So any country that takes action against terrorists are free to do so within their legal system," he said.
On the issue of ethnic minorities, Mukherjee said, "So far as the solution to the problem of ethnic minorities, including the Tamilians, is concerned, so that their legitimate aspirations are fulfilled within the Sri Lankan system, that part should not be lax and efforts must continue to arrive at a solution."
On the invitation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to attend Sri Lanka's 60th Independence anniversary celebrations, Mukherjee said that no decision has been taken yet. "As and when it will be decided we will let you know but no decision has yet been taken".
He added that the prime minister will attend the Saarc summit to take place in Colombo later this year.