Sept 07, Colombo: Hostile activities by one state in India do not represent the whole Indian stance and Sri Lanka is conducting diplomatic relations with India closely, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa said today.
Addressing the reporters at the Speaker's official residence in Colombo, the President praised the central government of India for working in a responsible manner regarding the incident which took place in Tamil Nadu recently.
In his first public response to the attack on Sri Lankan pilgrims by pro-LTTE political activists in Tamil Nadu, the President said the historical relationship that exist between the two countries will not fade away by the activities of a mere political party.
He pointed out that only a small, politically-motivated group was responsible for the attack and the central government has not given any encouragement to such acts.
The Indian government has responded positively to Sri Lanka's request to guarantee the safety of its citizens, the President said
President Rajapaksa reiterated the Sri Lankan government's stance that it only deals with the central government of India and not the state governments.
"We would only deal with the Centre and would not deal with state governments," he said.
Sri Lanka last Monday (04) issued a travel warning to its citizens against visiting Tamil Nadu until further notice after a group of 184 Sri Lankan pilgrims to the Poondi Madha Basilica Catholic shrine in the Tamil Nadu state came under attack by pro-LTTE Tamil party activists.
President Rajapaksa said that he will visit Sanchi in the Madhya Pradesh of India on the 19th of this month to lay the foundation stone for a Buddhist University.
He expects to meet the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his visit, he added.