India is applying pressure on Sri Lanka to protect the rights of Tamils affected by the ethnic strife, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said refuting the charge that government was not doing enough to mitigate their suffering.

“The Congress strongly feels that the rights of Sri Lankan Tamils are very important and should be protected”, he told a press conference here.

Denying the charge by some parties that the UPA government was a “mute spectator” on the issue, he said the Centre had sent two top functionaries — Pranab Mukherjee, when he was External Affairs Minister, and National Security Adviser M K Narayanan to Colombo to talk to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse.

Mr. Mukherjee was the senior-most minister next only to the Prime Minister, Mr. Gandhi said.

“My party always had taken utmost care of the issue. We will do anything for the Sri Lankan Tamils,” he said. “It is absolutely wrong that government is not doing anything. Government is applying tremendous pressure on the Sri Lankan government,” he added.