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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 82

President Rajapakse speaks to the Asian Tribune on Indo-Lank

[b]President Rajapakse speaks to the Asian Tribune on Indo-Lanka relations[/b]

[b]Colombo, 20 November, ( [/b]The new President, Mahinda Rajapakse, in his first media interview with the “Asian Tribune” after taking his oaths, said that Indo-Srilanka accord will be respected and implemented fully."

In a phone interview with the Asian Bureau in US he said that Sri Lanka will continue to have very cordial relationship and continue to seek India's guidance in solving ethnic and economic problems. He told the “Asian Tribune” that the Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, congratulated and wished him well for a new beginning. The Indian Prime Minister had also pledged India's continued support and cooperation in all aspects.

These comments were made by the President in response to comments made by Dr. Subramanian Swamy, President of the Janata Party. Whilst welcoming President's tough line on the LTTE he urged him to make clear his position regarding a federal constitution in which powers are devolved to the Tamils on certain selected subjects.

Here is the full text of Dr. Swamy's statement:

Presidential election will be welcomed in India with mixed feelings. While there will be happiness amongst patriotic Indians because Rajapakse during his election campaign had vowed to be tough on the LTTE, there is however at the same time a concern in India that his retrograde commitment to a unitary Constitution for Sri Lanka will perpetuate the discrimination against the Tamil minority in the island.

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