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Sri Lanka wants India to make LTTE talk

Visiting foreign minister Samaraweera has urged India to play a role that could lead to a resumption of talks between Govt and the LTTE.

india Updated: May 08, 2006 16:39 IST

Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera on Monday urged India to play a role that could lead to a resumption of peace talks between Colombo and the Tamil Tigers.

The visiting minister made the appeal during a brief meeting with Prakash Karat, general secretary of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), which provides vital parliamentary support to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

"He (Samaraweera) wanted India to play a role in seeing that the talks should be held (in Geneva)," Karat told the agency.

"He wanted a clear signal to be sent to LTTE that India and all others would like the LTTE to get back to the peace talks. He wanted to convey that."

Karat said the minister also briefed him about the deteriorating situation in Sri Lanka, where violence has escalated to unprecedented levels for the first time since the signing of the Norway-brokered 2002 ceasefire agreement between the LTTE and Colombo.

"He briefed me about the current situation in the light of the increased attacks and the suicide bombing on the (Sri Lankan) army commander and how this has impacted on the resumption of peace talks," Karat said.

The minister said the Sri Lankan government was committed to going back to Geneva, where the first round of peace talks with the LTTE was held in February. The second phase was due in April but has got indefinitely postponed.

Karat said his party, which favours a solution to the dragging ethnic conflict within the framework of a united Sri Lanka, would discuss the issue before posing the questions raised by Samaraweera before the government.

Samaraweea is on a three-day visit to India, his third since taking office in November last year. He is due to meet Manmohan Singh later on Monday.

First Published: May 08, 2006 16:39 IST