2ND LEAD

Rajapakse seeking UK's help to secure India's support - Norwegian radio

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 30 August 2006, 09:07 GMT]
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse's meeting Wednesday with British Prime Minister Tony Blair is "presumably an attempt to secure India's support in favour of Sri Lanka's policy" on the ethnic question Norwegian state radio reported, citing Oslo's Special Envoy, Jon Hanssen-Bauer.

Jon Hanssen-Bauer
Jon Hanssen-Bauer
Contrary to the Norwegian conflict-resolution approach, the Sri Lanka government's policy seeks to internationally isolate the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as a terrorist organisation, Mr. Hanssen-Bauer told NRK P1.

"We [Norwegians] are getting assailed, almost on a daily basis, in the Sri Lankan press as if we were favouring the Tigers," Mr. Hanssen-Bauer told P1.

"[But] we ought to treat both the parties as equals. These are the two parties to the Ceasefire Agreement," he said.

"We have to treat them as equal parties as far as we can."

"But, the Sri Lanka Government's policy, which seeks to brand the Tigers as terrorists and isolate them globally, is different to our approach," Bauer told the NRK Radio Wednesday morning.

The NRK P1's report that President Rajapakse was seeking Britain's support in persuading India to back his government's policy on the ethnic question comes amid mounting hostility to his regime in India's Tamil Nadu state.

Almost all the Tamil parties in the south Indian state are united in their condemnation of Sri Lanka's military violence which in the past few months has resulted in a sharp rise in civilian casualties.

 

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