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Thamilchelvan statue cannot affect relations with France says Sri Lankan envoy

Feb 21, 2011 9:45:11 PM- transcurrents.com

by Easwaran Rutnam

While expressing dismay at a bust of former LTTE political head S.P Thamilchelvam being erected once again in France, the Sri Lankan government says the statue is too insignificant to the strong relations between Sri Lanka and France.

Sri Lanka’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of France and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO Dr Dayan Jayatilleka told News Now.lk that the re-erection of the statue of S.P Thamilchelvam in La Courneuve, France has been raised with the French Foreign Ministry.

However he noted that Sri Lanka is also well aware of the local laws in parts of France which gives the right for people to even put up statues like that of the slain LTTE political chief and so the government will not get into any form of confrontation with the French authorities over the issue.

He also said that some groups were attempting to use the statue to scuttle the relationship between France and Sri Lanka.

“While we continue to express dismay at the statue being erected we have no intention of allowing a bust of a terrorist to harm the relations between Sri Lanka and France,” Ambassador Jayatilleke told News Now.lk from Paris.

The statue, which is on a private property in France was erected late last year but was later removed to be modified before being put up once again. Government officials in Colombo however had claimed at the time that it was removed by French authorities owing to objections raised by Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile Ambassador Jayatilleke said that he was attempting to reach out, not just to the French government, but also to the civil society in France and explain to them the Sri Lankan perspective and the true intention of things like the statue of Thamilchelvam being put up.

(Courtesy: News Now.lk)