The Indian Government says it is satisfied with an apology tendered by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) of Sri Lanka. Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said that when the article appeared on the website India immediately activated diplomatic channels.The Defence Ministry later removed the article saying it had been published without appropriate authorization and not reflecting any official position of the Government of Sri Lanka or the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development
Transcript of Indian Ministry of External Affairs Media Briefing by Official Spokesperson (August 01, 2014)
Question:Sir, I want to draw your attention to the Sri Lankan Defence Ministry as well as Urban Development Ministry website publishing derogatory photographs of the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu as well as the Prime Minister of the country. How do you react to that?
Official Spokesperson: Before you drew my attention to it we were already aware of it. So, let me tell you, the moment we heard about this the Government of India has acted with alacrity. We immediately activated diplomatic channels. Our High Commission in Sri Lanka took this matter up immediately and we were assured that action would be taken forthwith. Subsequently, I can now confirm to you that action has been taken and that objectionable article that you are referring to is no longer on that website.
Question:The Chief Minister has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying that Sri Lanka should apologise. Will that also be taken up with the Sri Lankan authorities seeking an apology?
Official Spokesperson: Geeta, I am not aware of any such communication but the point is that we acted with alacrity, we have achieved our objective, and should any further action be required, we will certainly consider this and take appropriate action. For the present I can confirm to you that as soon as we took up this matter, we drew immediate results and to our entire satisfaction that offensive article was removed. Now, if there are further things that we need to do, we will certainly consider them. Should we consider them and take action, we will inform you like we have done in this case after taking the action and after drawing the results.
Question:The reports are continuously saying that India has refused to grant visa to the UNHRC investigating team which is formed to investigate the war crimes which happened in Sri Lanka. If it is true, what is the action taken by India?
Official Spokesperson: The reports that you are referring to, I have responded to earlier. These are not reports from India, these are not reports from the UN. So, I will not comment on reports which are neither from India which is the host for any such request, nor from the UN which would ask for such a request. Secondly, by way of background let me tell you, all diplomats act, like other government officials, on the basis of precedents. There are precedents in this context.
You are aware of our approach on the entire issue of that Resolution. When this was discussed in March, our approach was the following. We abstained on that Resolution but we voted against the paragraph which constituted a Commission of Inquiry. Keeping all these in mind we will take a decision, should we be approached on specific requests of individuals for a visit to India in the context of that Resolution. (MEA)