‘Pleased with progress after 2009’:
India will never hurt Sri Lanka’s interests - Outgoing Indian HC
Stressing that India was pleased with Sri Lanka’s progress in the
aftermath of 2009, outgoing Indian High Commissioner Ashok K. Kantha
said the vote in Geneva should not be treated as a vote against the
The High Commissioner who took up the posting in Sri Lanka no sooner
LTTE terrorism was eradicated in the country, in an exclusive interview
with the Sunday Observer said, “India will never do anything which will
hurt Sri Lanka’s interests,” adding ‘The vote in Geneva was not a vote
against Sri Lanka’.
Kantha said that the ‘fundamental interests of Sri Lanka and India
are interlinked and there was no contradiction in these interests’.
The High Commissioner said his three-and-a-half year tenure was one
that saw heightened interactions between the two neighbours and
President Mahinda Rajapaksa made four fruitful visits to India during
this period and the exposition of the sacred Kapilavastu relics in Sri
Lanka was the zenith of these interactions.
When asked why India isolated Sri Lanka in Geneva last March when a
US sponsored resolution was taken up, he said, “We see progress and that
gives us confidence. The big picture of our relationship is very
positive. There are occasional differences. We may have different
perspectives on some issues.”
Speaking on a political settlement, he denied that India is dictating
terms to Sri Lanka on a solution aspired by them. “We always recognise
that these are domestic processes where people of Sri Lanka, through an
internal dialogue arrive at a settlement which is acceptable to them.
India has never tried to dictate terms to Sri Lanka. That is not our
The High Commissioner also assured that the Governments of India and
Tamil Nadu have stepped up security and it was safe now for Sri Lankan
pilgrims to travel to India.