Menon to arrive in Lanka with tough messages
Colombo: India is expected to convey in "the strongest terms" its concerns to Sri Lanka on a number of issues when its National Security Adviser visits Colombo later this week, according to a media report here today. "India is sending a top-level emissary to Sri Lanka to convey in `the strongest terms` New Delhi`s concerns over a string of important issues," the Sunday Times reported.
Shivshankar Menon, who was once India`s top envoy here, is to meet President Mahinda Rajapaksa and powerful Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa on Friday. Menon, who will have one-to-one meetings with both the leaders, would raise concerns over the anti-Indian stance adopted by some Sri Lankan ministers, demilitarisation of the north and east and follow up action on the UNHRC resolution which India had backed against Sri Lanka, the report said.
Menon`s visit comes days after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met Rajapaksa on the sidelines of the Rio+20 Summit in Brazil. It was only in April this year that an Indian Parliamentary delegation led by Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj told government leaders in Colombo, "We stood by you. There is a feeling of India being let down badly. There is disappointment."
Swaraj also said that Sri Lankan troops in the north should not be involved in the "day-to-day lives" of civilians in the north. Since the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration was voted to office in 2005, this is the first time an Indian government emissary has sought to have one-to-one meetings with the president and the defence secretary, the report said.