|India gets tough, calls Sri
India has categorically warned Sri Lanka that its Prime Minister
will not visit the island to partake in the country’s 60th
independence anniversary celebrations on February 4, 2008 if the
President Mahinda Rajapaksa led government fails to announce a
political package to resolve the ethnic conflict.
Sources said that the Indian government has urged Sri Lanka to
at least prepare an interim proposal before February next year.
“India is demanding that Sri Lanka pressure the All Party
Representative Committee (APRC) to bring out at least a draft
package before Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visits the
country in February,” sources claimed.
The Nation learns that the strong Indian message was delivered
during several discussions held during the past few weeks,
especially when a government minister met with the Indian High
Commissioner in Colombo, Alok Prasad this month.
“India wants to see how sincere the Sri Lankan government is
about its rhetoric and so has given the Rajapaksa led
administration a virtual ultimatum. India believes that
everything cannot happen in one-go but something positive must
be done, which is either to fully implement the provisions on
the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, or to at least announce
an interim political package as a solution to the ethnic
problem,” sources noted.
According to sources, Manmohan Singh’s visit must derive
something worthwhile bilaterally or else there will be no point
in India attending Sri Lanka’s diamond jubilee of independence.
“If Sri Lanka fails to please its ‘big brother-India,’ its
neighbour will openly express its displeasure by not attending
the Independence Day celebrations,” sources added.