Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Talks boost Indo-Lanka ties

Special envoy lauds India for understanding Lankan issues :
Senior Presidential Advisor MP Basil Rajapaksa said the past after meeting with Indian best that New Delhi and Colombo were "genuine friends" and that his state would keep civilian wounded in the war against the Tigers "to the very minimum".
MP Rajapaksa, who visited India as a special envoy of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, said that torrential rains and flooding had overstated Tamils displaced by the hostility in the North and that India had pledged to give food and medicine for them.
He added that UN agencies would visit the war zone to assess the state of affairs.
"Both countries are proving to be genuine friends. This is truthful for the people of the two countries too," Rajapaksa told IANS, a day after gathering External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and other officials.
"India has actually proved to be a genuine friend. They are friends of Sri Lanka," said Rajapaksa.
"We establish they (India) have unspoken extremely well our problems." "We also realise that we require to do everything we can do for the safety of civilians (in the war zone). We are discussing (this issue with India)," said Rajapaksa. "We want to ensure zero inhabitant casualties or at smallest amount keep it to the very minimum."
Providing a general idea of his talks here, Rajapaksa told IANS: "There are sure hardships (to civilians). We have the same opinion. We want to minimise them. There are no civilians now in Kilinochchi.
They have gone bottomless into LTTE territory, beyond our firing variety. "In Kilinochchi town, no Government office is functioning, only the hospital is ready. That too is Government controlled. All civilians have enthused out. If there are some in Kilinochchi, they are LTTE cadres."
"The whole inhabitants (in the region) is 250,000. Everyone is not an IDP. By IDPs we mean those we have to give rations to. In Mullaitivu people are motionless in their houses but they have no trade power. For the sake of giving food, we call them IDPs. Only the populace in Mannar and Kilinochchi districts are displaced. "Now the rains have started, present are floods. People are affected. It is our blame.
"We discussed this with the Indian government. They said they would send 100 tonnes of foodstuff and medicines. For distribution we will have discussions every week with the Indian high commissioner in Colombo.
Sri Lanka will have the sharing network. All UN organisations will call the area. They will give us information."
Crediting New Delhi with having "very good information" about the Sri Lanka situation, Rajapaksa also said that Colombo "understands extremely well" why there have been verbal protests in Tamil Nadu about his country.
He referred to the evils of the Indian fishing community in passing, saying: "Fishermen don't mind for the international marine boundary. They go where the fish is".
Referring to the LTTE, Rajapaksa said his Government's attempt was to "isolate from the (Tamil) people" from LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran and his cleverness leader.
"There are a a small number of things the administration is doing. Suppose if there are two angle in a urn, we can either get the water out or the fishes out.
The administration is doing both. We want to cut off them from the populace. But we are not next to persons or even terrorists. We are only against terror."
His remarks followed extensive discussions on the state of affairs in his country with Indian officials in the wake of mass protests in Tamil Nadu demanding a ceasefire.
India has categorically lined out the possibility of forcing a truce in Sri Lanka. Indian External relationships Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who had flown in from Delhi to brief Karunanidhi about the latest following developments on the Lankan Tamils' issue, told reporters after the gathering that India could not ask for a ceasefire in Lanka as it would amount to nosy in the internal affairs of another country.
"India is not a social gathering to the ceasefire,'' he said by way of replying to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Karunanidhi's demand for ensuring the truce.
Mukherjee said Karunanidhi had also certain him that he would not humiliate the UPA government by asking the DMK MPs, including ministers from Tamil Nadu to quit over the subject.
The External Affairs Minister said his meeting with Lankan Special Envoy Basil Rajapaksa, earlier in Delhi, had been original as it had given the sign for a enfold up to be pushed through politically by President Mahinda Rajapaksa towards end the ethnic disagreement.

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