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India had warships off Colombo  for last SAARC summit

Government sources say that those who called the IIFA awards ceremony a failure had conveniently forgotten the environment in which the 15th SAARC summit was held in Colombo in July 2008 at the height of the war against the LTTE. A section of the Indian political establishment as well demanded that the Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh skip the Colombo summit, sources said adding. India went to the extent of deploying two warships, Delhi class INS Mysore and Rajput class INS Ranvir 12 nautical miles off the west coast. A 300 strong VIP security contingent accompanied the Indian delegation as part of a security plan to thwart a possible LTTE attempt to stage a spectacular raid targeting Colombo.

Acting IGP N. K. Illangakoon last week said that the police were responsible for security at all IIFA venues, though security forces could have been called in for assistance to face any eventuality. He dismissed speculation that India had sent a security contingent to protect Indian film stars. (SF)

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