India welcomes Sri Lankan president's statement on protection of Tamils 2009-05-19 14:05:41   Print

    NEW DELHI, May 19 (Xinhua) -- India welcomed Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa's statement that protection of Tamils was Colombo's responsibility, an Indian External Affairs Ministry official said Tuesday.

    "India has welcomed Rajapaksa's efforts to reach out to the Tamil population in Sri Lanka and his declaration that protection of Tamils was the responsibility of his government," the official said.

    Earlier in the day, Rajapaksa said that "protection of all people, including Tamils, is my duty and responsibility."

    India Monday called on Sri Lanka to address the root causes of the conflict with Tamil Tigers after the rebels were completely crushed over the past few days by the government forces.

    According to a statement of the Indian External Affairs Ministry on Monday evening, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksacalled up External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee to confirm that the armed resistance by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had ended and its leader Velupillai Prabakaran was dead.

    The statement said India in response told Colombo that it should address the root causes of the conflict.

Editor: An
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