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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2422

Distortion of New Delhi speech: Chandrika’s office clarifies

Colombo, 06 March, (Asiantribune.com): The former Sri Lanka’s President Chandrika Kumaratunga Bandaranaike has said that the present Government has done well to take important land areas from the LTTE. She added that her Government fought a difficult war against the LTTE, at a time when they had almost total control of the Northern Province. Her Government took back about 70% of the land area under LTTE control. Care was taken to minimize civilian deaths.

In a statement release by former Sri Lankan President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga on the subject of – Distortion of New Delhi speech said , "She was in New Delhi to make an address as a panelist at the launch of a book authored by an Indian Union Minister. The content of her speech has already been sent to the media including your institution. She has not made the statement falsely attributed to her in her speech.

"President Kumaratunga did not meet any media people during her visit to New Delhi even though many had requested interviews with her. However a journalist had forced her way through a security cordon when Madam Kumaratunga was leaving a meeting with the acting Prime Minister Pranabh Mukherjee after having called on Madame Sonia Gandh, ” the statement said.

"This journalist and asked her a volley of questions viz the manner in which the President and his government were conducting the war etc. Madam Kumaratunga refused to comment.

"The journalist then asked for her comments on Human Rights issues and the plight of the refugees and about the tens of thousands languishing in refugee camps. President Kumaratunga’s response was that she agrees with war against terrorism, but she does not believe bombing should be done in civilian areas, causing many civilian deaths and a grave refugee problem.

"President Kumaratunga said that the present Government has done well to take important land areas from the LTTE. She added that her Government fought a difficult war against the LTTE, at a time when they had almost total control of the Northern Province . Her Government took back about 70% of the land area under LTTE control. Care was taken to minimize civilian deaths.

"Her Government was committed to arriving at a political solution to the Tamil Question of Sri Lanka and hence continued to implement an extensive policy to create conditions for negotiations, even while military action continued.

"Waging military action against Terrorism need not exclude the necessary battle for Peace among and with the Tamil civilian communities.

"She said one should not confuse terrorism and the Tamil problem. The just rights of the Tamil people must be given, whilst terrorism is dealt with. “The Tamil problem must be addressed during and after the war against terrorism. The negotiated political settlement should be acceptable to all concerned”, she told the persistent journalist.

President Kumaratunga is not surprised the State owned media and one group of newspapers known for its anti Tamil stance have distorted the truth. The latter has indulged in the most vituperative attacks on Madam Kumaratunga going on a single report in a newspaper – without informing themselves of the facts."

- Asian Tribune -

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