India has warned Sri Lanka's government that a return to civil war with Tamil Tiger rebels will not resolve the country's decades-old ethnic conflict.
India's foreign secretary Shyam Saran says his country does not believe violence is the way out of the conflict and rejects the idea of a separate Tamil state.
Sri Lankan military officials say at least eight soldiers were killed and more than 28 wounded during a new ground offensive against Tamil Tiger rebels in the east of the country.
The military says it launched the offensive Monday after Tamil rebels fired mortar bombs at government security forces on patrol in the northeastern Trincomalee district.
Tamil rebels say the government offensive killed 20 civilians and wounded 26 others.
A military spokesman said the offensive was part of a move to secure a Trincomalee military facility and naval base against long-range attacks by the Tamil Tiger rebels.
The Sri Lankan government says it wants the Tamil rebels out of the strategic area overlooking the Trincomalee harbor, northeast of the capital, Colombo.