Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sri Lanka: India asks Lanka to observe restraint dealing with fishermen

New Delhi, May 16, IRNA – India’s External Affairs Minister S M Krishna Monday asked Sri Lanka to observe 'restraint' while dealing with Indian fishermen who stray into its waters during talks with his counterpart G L Peiris.

Peiris is here to explain his country's position on a UN report accusing it of 'war crimes'.
During a meeting, Krishna and Peiris, here on a three-day visit, discussed bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest.

Krishna conveyed to Peiris that safety of Indian fishermen was of utmost importance and Sri Lanka should restrain from using force on them if they stray into the country's waters, the PTI reported, quoted the official sources as saying.

Ahead of Peiris' visit, reports from Colombo had indicated that he would be here to discuss the report by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon's expert panel and lobby for India's support. However, there was no official word on what transpired at the meeting.

The panel was constituted to study the happenings during the last phase of the war against the LTTE, probe allegations of war crimes and advise the UN chief on the issue.

The report has accused the Lankan government and the now vanquished Tamil Tiger rebels of targeting and killing thousands of civilians during the last phase of the civil war that ended on May 19, 2009 with the death of Velupillai Prabhakaran.

The report also advocated setting up of an independent investigation.
The UN Secretary General has made it clear that any independent international investigation will be instituted only after the member states call for it.

Measured in its response, India had said it was willing to engage with Sri Lanka on the report.
Peiris is also understood to have briefed Krishna on measures taken by his government in relation with its reconciliation process and its progress.

Peiris is likely to meet Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, National Security Advisor Shiv Shanker Menon and Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao.