Sri Lanka – India Strategic Dialogue concludes in Colombo

Dec 12 (IL) The First Sri Lanka – India Strategic Dialogue jointly organized by the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies, Colombo (BCIS) and the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, New Delhi (ICIS) was held at the BMICH on 4th and 5th December 2003 under the chairmanship of Lakshman Kadirgamar former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Senior Advisor to the President of Sri Lanka.

The Indian speakers comprised of M.K.Rasgotra, former Indian Foreign Secretary under Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Air Commodore Jasjit Sright former Director (Operations) of the Indian Air Force, Dr.Arvind Virmani, Director General of the Indian Council for Research on International Relations, Subhod Bhargava former President of the Confederation of Indian Industry, Prof.S.D.Muni of the Jawaharlal Nehru University and Vice Admiral Premvir Das, former Commander Eastern Naval Command.

The Sri Lankan speakers comprised of Prof.George Cooray, Dr.Piyasena Dissanayake, Dr.Lloyd Fernando, Dr.(Rev.)Wijitapura Wimalaratne, S. Indraratne, Dr.Saman Kelegama, Dr.H.N.Thenuwara, Prof. Sudharshan Seneviratne, Gen.(Retd) S.C.Ranatunge and Dayan Jayatilleke,

During his speech, Rasgotra declared that India would not accept the so-called Navy of the LTTE. He called for joint operations by India and Sri Lanka to contain operations by the LTTE. He also added that India was not indifferent to the problems of Sri Lanka. India’s future action would depend on what the people of Sri Lanka want from India. Admiral Premvir Das too called for better cooperation between the Indian and Sri Lanka Navies. Prof. Muni described the LTTE’s proposal for an interim authority as ‘having no takers’.