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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 81

India takes a more direct hand in Sri Lankan affairs

[b]India takes a more direct hand in Sri Lankan affairs[/b]

[b] By Vilani Peiris – World Socialist Web Site [/b]

New Delhi has responded to last month’s election of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse by stepping up pressure on Colombo to revive the island’s so-called peace process. Amid fears of a breakdown of the current ceasefire, the Indian government is concerned that any return to armed conflict will have a destabilizing impact throughout the region.

Rajapakse won the November 17 election with the backing of the Sinhala chauvinist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU). His electoral pacts with these parties included provocative measures to revise the ceasefire with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), abolish a joint mechanism for the distribution of tsunami aid and rule out a federated state as part of any peace deal.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh formally congratulated Rajapakse and invited him to visit New Delhi at an early date for talks. A flurry of diplomatic activity has followed in which India has maintained the pressure on Rajapakse to back away from any aggressive move against the LTTE and to lay the basis for renewed peace talks.

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