'Rajapakse not needed in Nepal'

[TamilNet, Friday, 26 November 2010, 12:23 GMT]
Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapakse, who is increasingly styling himself at home as latter-day manifestation of ancient Sinhala rulers, also considers himself a ‘regional’ leader, as his foreign minister, Prof. G. L. Peiris puts it. However, the Nepali government doesn’t seem to think so - this week it rubbished Prof. Peiris’ claim the Himalayan state had sought President Rajapakse’s help in resolving the political imbroglio there.

"President Rajapaksa is now being accepted not only as the leader of Sri Lanka but as a regional leader too," Prof. Peiris was quoted by Sri Lankan media as saying.

Prof. Peiris’ statement was widely reported in the island's media as reflection of Rajapaksa’s growing stature both within Sri Lanka and outside.

On Wednesday, Prof. Peiris went one better, telling Parliament that Nepal President Ram Baran Yadav had sought President Rajapakse’s help to resolve the ongoing political crisis in the Himalayan state.

The request was made when both the presidents had met last month in China on sidelines of the Shanghai Expo, Prof. Peiris elaborated.

The Nepali response was swift.

"It is a baseless claim. No such request was made by the President during his meeting with the Sri Lankan President," Rajendra Dahal, press advisor to President Yadav told the Hindustan Times newspaper.

He added that the Nepali embassy in Sri Lanka has also issued a statement terming the claim as unsubstantiated.


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