Discussions on nuclear safety issues soon: Sri Lankan envoy
Rakesh Kumar Kubde
April 11th, 2012

India and Sri Lanka were engaged bilaterally in nuclear technology-related issues High Commissioners of both countries stationed in New Delhi and Colombo have confirmed. There was no move to take nuclear safety of any other issue to any international forum, they added.

“Discussion on the technical level issues will commence soon,” Prasad Kariyawasam, the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India, told The Hindu over phone from New Delhi, when asked about Sri Lanka’s stand on the issue. The Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, based in Colombo, Ashok K.Kantha, told The Hindu that a bilateral process was already on, and all the issues, including that of nuclear safety, was being discussed. Appropriate steps will be taken, within the framework of the guidelines provided, he added.

Mr.Kariyawasam said that because of the protests in Kudankulam people in Sri Lanka too had become aware of the issue. These concerns were aired in the bilateral forum, he added. Nuclear safety will be one of the issues discussed in the forum, he added.

Minister takes up issue

The issue came to the fore after the Indian media picked up a comment made by a Sri Lankan Minister over the Indian nuclear power plant at Kudankulam. Energy Minister Champika Ranawaka said that his government will raise the issue at the IAEA meet in September, the Sri Lankan media reported on Sunday.

Mr. Ranawaka, looking for relevance in Sri Lanka’s polity has raised the issue which was initially raised by some of Sri Lanka’s academics a few years ago. Extreme anti-India voices in the ruling UPFA, including Wimal Weerawansa, another India-baiting Minister, have refrained from raising the issue.

Mr.Ranawaka, who is part of the UPFA alliance, and belongs to the Jathika Hela Urumaya party led by Buddhist monks, has been trying to occupy the far-right space in Sri Lankan polity. The party, formed in 2004, is Sinhala nationalist, and has been looking to expand its support base. Sri Lanka has more than 90 Ministers in the rank of Cabinet Ministers, Senior Ministers and Deputy Ministers. For all practical purposes, all major decisions rest with the executive presidency
Source: BL


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