News


DATE=5/19/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-232453
TITLE=SRI LANKA / NUCLEAR
BYLINE=VANDANA CHOPRA
DATELINE=COLOMBO
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

INTRO:  THE UNITED STATES IS SEEKING CLARIFICATION OF SRI LANKA'S
CONTROVERSIAL STAND IN SUPPORT OF INDIA'S NUCLEAR TESTS.  VANDANA
CHOPRA HAS THE DETAILS FROM COLOMBO.

TEXT:  A U-S EMBASSY OFFICIAL IN COLOMBO SAYS THE AMERICAN 
AMBASSADOR HAS REQUESTED A MEETING WITH SRI LANKA'S FOREIGN 
MINISTER TO LEARN SRI LANKA'S POSITION ON INDIA'S NUCLEAR TESTS.

THE EMBASSY SPOKESPERSON SAYS THE AMBASSADOR IS SEEKING AN 
EXPLANATION OF A FOREIGN MINISTRY STATEMENT THAT SUPPORTS INDIA'S
NUCLEAR-TEST SERIES -- BECAUSE SRI LANKA IS A SIGNATORY TO THE 
NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION TREATY, OR N-P-T.

LAST WEEK, FOREIGN MINISTER LAKSHMAN KADIRGAMAR SAID SRI LANKA 
WAS  NOT  OPPOSED TO INDIA'S NUCLEAR AMBITIONS.

THIS ISLAND STATE IS THE ONLY COUNTRY TO BACK INDIA'S DECISION TO
RESUME NUCLEAR TESTS, AND ITS RIGHT TO CONDUCT TESTS.

THE INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER "ISLAND" QUOTES ANOTHER 
FOREIGN-MINISTRY OFFICIAL AS SAYING INDIA HAS THE RIGHT TO DO AS 
IT WISHES, WITH REGARD TO ITS OWN SECURITY.

U-S EMBASSY OFFICIALS SAY THE UNITED STATES IS INTERESTED IN 
FINDING OUT WHY SRI LANKA CHOSE TO SUPPORT INDIA SO OPENLY.

AMBASSADOR SHAUN DONNELLY HAS SOUGHT A MEETING WITH MR. 
KADIRGAMAR AFTER THE MINISTERRETURNS FROM A MEETING OF 
NON-ALIGNED NATIONS IN COLOMBIA.

INDIA DETONATED FIVE NUCLEAR DEVICES LAST WEEK.  THOSE 
UNDERGROUND EXPLOSIONS, INDIA'S FIRST NUCLEAR TESTS IN 24 YEARS, 
HAVE DRAWN WORLDWIDE CRITICISM.

THE UNITED STATES AND JAPAN ARE IMPOSING ECONOMIC SANCTIONS ON 
INDIA.  OTHER COUNTRIES HAVE  FROZEN AID AND RECALLED ENVOYS FROM
NEW DELHI.   (SIGNED)

NEB/VC/WTW

19-May-98 8:17 AM EDT (1217 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
.