India Offers Help To End War In Sri Lanka

The Indian government which has a strong interest in the plight of Tamils who reside in Sri Lanka has offered to use its influence in an effort to persuade Tamil Tigers to lay down their arms and end the fighting. Sri Lanka troops have completely surrounded the area and within a week will most probably have captured or killed the last remaining Tamil fighters. The government of India notes as the conflict winds down, Tamil Tigers “would best serve their interests” by releasing civilians trapped in the area and lay down their arms. India offered to facilitate evacuation of civilians and work with the Sri Lanka government to resolve remaining issues in the conflict. It strongly urged the victorious Sri Lanka government to address needs and interests of the Tamil minority in their country in order to avoid future hostile actions.

In 1987, India and Sri Lanka worked out an agreement that would provide more extensive local autonomy in areas where Tamil people live and it offered to assist in the reconstruction of devastated areas and move toward integration of the Tamils into the government and economy of Sri Lanka. India External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee urged Sri Lanka, “in our view, after 23 years of conflict, there is today a political opportunity to restore lfe to normalcy in the northern province” and this will be achieved by consideration of the desires of the local Tamil population.