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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 31, 2007
No need to procure weapons from China, Pakistan: India tells Sri Lanka
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No need to procure weapons from China, Pakistan: India tells Sri Lanka

Advising Sri Lanka not to procure weapons from Pakistan and China to fight Tamil rebels, India on Thursday assured the island nation that New Delhi would look after their weapon requirements.

Chennai, May 31 : Advising Sri Lanka not to procure weapons from Pakistan and China to fight Tamil rebels, India on Thursday assured the island nation that New Delhi would look after their weapon requirements.

National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan told reporters in Chennai that New Delhi would favourably consider any request for military hardware from Colombo.

"We are the big power in this region, let us make that very clear. We strongly believe that whatever requirements the Sri Lankan government have, they should come to us and we will give them what we think is necessary. We do not favour them going to China or Pakistan or any other country," Narayanan said after meeting Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi.

On Sri Lankan navy firing at Indian fishermen, Narayanan said they were free to cast their nets in the Palk Strait without any fear.

"I think we have got an understanding and I myself have talked to all authorities in Sri Lanka that they should be no firing. They have promised us that, so the question of preventing our fishermen from going across is asking too much from our fishermen," Narayanan added.

Several Indian fishermen have died in firing from Sri Lankan coast guards, who suspect them of LTTE rebels smuggling weapons to the island nation.

Narayanan, however, denied any joint patrolling with Sri Lankan navy to prevent such instances or monitor rebel movements.

"We have problems with joint patrolling. I said we are always ready for coordinated patrolling. Some of it is already taking place," he said.

The separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), or Tamil Tigers, have been at war for more than two decades with the government, which has rested for years almost entirely in the hands of the Sinhalese majority, who account for around 75 percent of the population.

Local dailies reported that Sri Lanka was seeking military help from Pakistan and China to upgrade its air defence in the wake of Tamil Tigers acquiring air capabilities.

Sri Lankan has been seeking Indian support to fight LTTE growing capabilities. But India insists that it would only provide defensive weapons, like radars to Sri Lanka but no offensive weapons.

ANI

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