"Sri Lanka is responsible for terrorism as Tamils took to terrorism because their rights were denied," the minister said, adding New Delhi did not support any kind of terrorist activities.

India today disapproved of a top Sri Lankan official’s reported remark regarding terrorism in that country, saying the armed conflict there was a result of Colombo denying rights to Tamils there.

Responding to Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s reported remark that India could never absolve itself of the responsibility for creating terrorism in his country, Union Minister V. Narayanasamy said the statement was unacceptable.

“As far as India is concerned (late Prime Ministers) Indra and Rajiv Gandhi supported Tamils. We even lost Rajiv Gandhi (assassinated by members of LTTE), who sent Indian Peace Keeping Force to help Tamils. Rajapaksa’s statement is unacceptable. Sri Lanka is responsible for terrorism as Tamils took to terrorism because their rights were denied,” he told reporters at the Chennai Airport here on Firday.

New Delhi did not support any kind of terrorist activities, he added.

India has a duty to protect Tamils wherever they are and it had pressed for independent and credible investigation into alleged war crimes by Sri Lankan army at the UNHRC, he said.

“Unfortunately, the state political parties are concealing that. The truth will come out ultimately,” the Minister of State in the PMO, added.

Fishermen issue

Mr. Narayanasamy also denied the Centre was not acting on attacks on fishermen from Tamil Nadu by Sri Lankan Navy.

Indian consular officials were immediately asked to work for the release of fishermen arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy, he said, adding that only talks between fishermen of the two countries could ensure a lasting solution to the matter.

The Minister also called for increased patrolling by the Indian Coast Guard and Naval ships in the area to prevent attacks on local fishermen.