Vasan praises David Cameron’s visit to Sri Lanka

India 2    Nobody can deny the efforts British Prime Minister David Cameron has taken to put Sri Lanka on notice over genocide and war crimes, Union shipping minister GK Vasan said. The Congress minister from Tamil Nadu applauded Cameron’s visit to Colombo for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meet (CHOGM) at a function in Chennai on Monday.

On Thursday, Cameron, whose decision to attend the summit was criticised, has promised to highlight human rights abuses in the island nation. It was described as an “extraordinary visit” to the war-affected areas, which also made him the first world leader to travel to the Tamil-dominated northern regions of Sri Lanka after independence. His meetings with the refugees of Sabapathy Pillai in the Northern Province of Lanka caught international attention after the inmates referred to him as a man sent by God to help them get their land back. He had also visited media houses in Sri Lanka where several journalists went missing or were killed allegedly by the government.

While refusing to comment further on Cameron’s visit, Vasan said nobody can deny the ‘efforts’ the British Prime Minister has taken during his visit last week. During the hour-long meeting with Rajapaksa that followed his visit to the Tamil-dominated areas, the British PM had also insisted there should be a proper investigation into alleged war crimes by the government and that the process of “truth-telling” is essential for any kind of reconciliation.

However, Vasan added that the Indian representation led by external affairs minister Salman Khurshid was also effective. “A team of Indian foreign ministry experts, headed by Khurshid, has also taken remarkable efforts to discuss the issues of war crimes. It will definitely bring justice to the war victims,” Vasan said.(The Times of India)

On Friday, a day after Cameron’s visit, Khurshid expressed regret that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh could not visit Jaffna. “Is it not sad? Who is to blame? I wanted my PM to go there first. I was the second Indian foreign minister to go there (after the war). But who do I blame for it? I am only disappointed that I could not take the Prime Minister to an area where we are building 50,000 houses. We can’t show him this and the roads and projects that we are building (in Jaffna),” Khurshid had told reporters in Sri Lanka.

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