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Updated: June 21, 2011 23:46 IST

Sri Lanka not isolated, says Peiris

R. K. Radhakrishnan
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Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Gamini Lakshman Peiris.
AFP Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Gamini Lakshman Peiris.

Despite a sustained campaign against Sri Lanka aided and abetted by some nations, the country did not stand isolated — this was the message sent out from the St. Petersberg Economic Forum, said Sri Lankan Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris here on Tuesday.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa had met several world leaders on the sidelines of the forum and they all had assured him of their support for the on-going peace process, said Professor Peiris. He added that Russia and China, two permanent members of the United Nations Security Council who had been steadfast in their support for Sri Lanka, reiterated their commitment to its unity. When it was pointed out that they could not do much more than voice their protest over the NATO attacks on Libya, he said Sri Lanka and Libya were two different situations and could not be compared.

Concerted campaign

Prof. Peiris said there was a sustained and diabolical campaign by some people based abroad to destabilise Sri Lanka by interfering with the reconciliation process and stopping the President from travelling abroad.

“The object of this campaign is to prevent the President from travelling. The diabolical designs of these elements are to prevent reconciliation from happening,” he said. Referring to the case filed in a local court in the United States against Mr. Rajapaksa, he said an elected executive head who had sovereign immunity should not have been summoned by a court unaware of its jurisdiction.

Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga said Mr. Rajapaksa had met his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev for the second time within a year. The meeting underlined the “unshakable relationship” and Russia made it clear it would stand by Sri Lanka. Mr. Rajapaksa's meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao was the fifth in the last four years. Mr. Hu invited Mr. Rajapaksa to visit China. Both leaders also discussed issues of economic development, now that Sri Lanka was poised to reap the peace dividend.

On Kachchativu

Breaking its silence over a Tamil Nadu Assembly resolution on the State Revenue Department impleading itself in the Supreme Court case on Kachchativu, Sri Lanka said Kachchathivu was a matter related to the Centre. “Tamil Nadu does not have any authority over Kachchativu,” said Prof. Peiris adding there was no need for anyone in Sri Lanka to feel agitated over the Tamil Nadu Assembly resolution. In India, the Constitution provided certain powers for the Centre and certain others for States and this was an issue in the realm of the Centre, he said. Hence, “a cerebral response is required, not an emotional response”. He was quick to add that he had greeted Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on her assuming office and wanted cordial relations with the State.

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