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Military means will not resolve Lankan problems: India

Even as Lankan army was on the verge of defeating LTTE, India said military means will not resolve the island nation's ethnic problem and Colombo would have to look at a political solution.

world Updated: Jan 06, 2009 00:37 IST
PTI

Even as Sri Lankan army was on the verge of defeating LTTE, India on Monday said military means will not resolve the island nation's ethnic problem and Colombo would have to look at a political solution.

New Delhi also said that it expected Sri Lanka to hand over LTTE chief V Prabhakaran to face trial in India in connection with the killing Rajiv Gandhi as there is an extradition request pending for long.

"There are several aspects to the Sri Lankan problem. No one of them is sufficient to solve the problem," Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon told reporters here when asked to comment on the Lankan military offensive in the island nation.

"There is no military solution to the problem, no matter how the military situation might fluctuate. One side may be up or down," he underlined.

He said the military situation might change but there is more to the situation in Sri Lanka than the military aspect.

His comments came as the Lankan military was closing in on Mullaitivu, the last bastion of LTTE.

Pointing out that there is a political aspect which needs work, Menon said "until there is political understanding within the framework of united Sri Lanka within which all communities of Sri Lanka are comfortable, you cannot speak of a political solution to the situation."

He said there is also a humanitarian aspect, involving civilians caught in the conflict between military and LTTE in northern Sri Lanka. India has been sending relief to them and will continue to do so, he added.

On Prabhakaran, the Foreign Secretary said India has consistently sought his extradition to face trial here.

"The request is renewed repeatedly," he said about the LTTE chief.

First Published: Jan 05, 2009 23:16 IST