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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2340

Remembering Lakshman Kadirgamar - One month after...........

[b]Remembering Lakshman Kadirgamar - One month after his assassination by the LTTE [/b]

By Bandula Jayasekara

When the Indian Prime Minister Cried

Late Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar who was brutally assassinated by the LTTE just one month ago, on 12 August had the highest respect for India's gentlemanly and learned Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh. They knew each other well even before Dr Singh became the Prime Minister of India since the late Minister met Singh during his many visits to India.

On 8th July this year Dr Manmohan Singh received an honorary doctorate from the Oxford University . Having accepted the doctorate the Indian Prime Minister addressed the Oxford University on 'Partnership among nations must be equal and honourable' where he started by quoting the Great Mahatma Gandhi.

Lakshman Kadirgamar who was a proud product of Oxford University liked Dr Singh's speech so much and read it thrice over. He did not stop at that. He instructed the foreign ministry officials to send the Indian Premiers speech to all the Sri Lankan diplomats and requested them to read it.

On 6th August just 6 days before he was killed by the LTTE the late Foreign Minister wrote a letter to the Indian Premier. Kadirgamar wrote "Your Excellency, Permit me to say that your speech on the occasion of the conferment on you of an honorary doctorate by the University of Oxford was a delight to read. It has, I am sure struck a chord in the hearts of all the people of South Asia who have had the good fortune of being able to read it. It reflects so elegantly the sentiments that we all share about our relationship with the British people. As a South Asian I was very proud of your speech. I have directed that all members of the Foreign Service of Sri Lanka be given a copy of the speech and requested to read it. Please accept, Excellency the assurances of my highest consideration any my respectful good wishes.

Not been an urgent letter the late Foreign Ministers letter had gone through the normal channels and reached the Indian Prime Minister only the day the present minister Anura Bandaranaike and others called on him in New Delhi. Though Lakshman Kadirgamar was no more in the land of living, the letter had reached his respected friend Dr Manmohan Singh who Kadirgamar use to refer to as the best thing which happened to India lately. Kadirgamar was greatly respectful of the leadership he is giving to India today.

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