Monday, October 27, 2008

Sri Lanka assures India on civilian safety, welfare

MP Basil Rajapaksa Briefs Indian Leaders on range of issues:
Terrorism should be
countered with resolve Indian relief supplies to Wanni civilians through Lankan Govt Lankan Govt firmly committed to political solution Both Governments to
remain in close touch
India and Sri Lanka asserted yesterday that terrorism should be countered with resolve, following talks flanked by Indian leaders and Senior Presidential Advisor MP Basil Rajapaksa.
MP Rajapaksa visited India as a Special Envoy of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to brief Indian leaders on the events being taken by the Government to beat terrorism and ensure the welfare of civilians in the North. He met External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon.
A joint statement issued at the end of MP Rajapaksa's visit said he has briefed the Indian establishment of the labors by the Sri Lanka Government to have enough money release and make sure the welfare of the inhabitant population in the North and certain that the safety and well-being of the Tamil group of people in Sri Lanka is being taken care of.
India has conveyed its concern at the caring situation in the Northern part of Sri Lanka, particularly of the civilians and inside displaced persons caught in the hostilities and emphasised the need for unhindered essential release supplies.
As a gesture of goodwill, India has determined to send around 800 tonnes of relief fabric to Sri Lanka for the exaggerated civilians in the North. The Government of Sri Lanka will make easy the delivery. Both sides agreed to ask and help with every other in addressing these caring issues.
"MP Rajapaksa emphasised that the President and his Government were firmly committed to a political procedure that would lead to a sustainable solution," the declaration said.
They discussed the need to move towards a quietly negotiated political settlement in the isle including in the North. The Indian side called for completion of the 13th Amendment and better devolution of powers to the provinces.
Both sides agreed to further nurture the self-governing process in the Eastern Province. MP Rajapaksa briefed the Indian side of the large development attempt underway in the Eastern Province.
"Discussions in New Delhi during MP Rajapaksa's visit were characterized by a spirit of constructive engagement on both sides. Both Governments will remain in close touch," the statement added.
Indian news information said during talks with External Affairs Minister Mukherjee in New Delhi, MP Basil Rajapaksa said the Government will stay the interests of Tamil civilians in mind while carrying on with the offensive against the LTTE. Rajapaksa said that Indian medical teams will be allowable to provide aid to the exaggerated Tamil population in the disagreement areas.
"We have given every pledge to look after the civilians' needs and whichever method we can," he told reporters after the meeting.
Asked about the checkup aid from India, the President's consultant said "yes, that issue was brought up and we will take a optimistitc look on it."
"Yes," he said when asked whether the Sri Lankan Government will let Indian medical aid to Sri Lanka.Asked whether Mukherjee will visit Colombo on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, Rajapaksa said "he has not discussed it".
The Sri Lankan President, throughout a telephonic chat with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh previous Saturday, assured him that "all necessary measures" are being in use to ensure safety and well-being of the Tamil community.
The Prime Minister has told the Sri Lankan President to ensure that the rights of civilian Tamils are not compromised and they do not get entangled in the disagreement.

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