Friday, January 30, 2009

India lauds Sri Lanka's safe passage offer to Tamil civilians - Shiv Shankar Menon

India Thursday lauded the Sri Lankan government's statement of granting a safe way to Tamil civilians trapped in the war-hit northern parts of the island nation and hoped that the circumstances of civilians will improve in days to come.
'The government of India welcomes this important statement and hopes that with the conclusion of these steps, the state of the civilians stuck up in the difference, will get better,' Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon told reporters here late Thursday night, media information said.
Menon was reacting to the announcement by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa that he has urged the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to allow free group of civilians attentive in northern areas to make sure their security and security.
'We are happy to see the steps that are being taken by Sri Lanka and we hope that all these civilians would now be able to move to safety,' Menon said while stressing that the safety of civilians figured extremely in discussions between External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee with President Rajapaksa when the former visited Colombo this week.
'And for all the civilians, he (Rajapaksa) has assured a safe way to a secure surrounding area and also certain all those living in the northern and difference areas in demanding, that vacate the LTTE-held areas will make sure their physical security and let calm, liberty and human rights for all citizen of the country,' Menon said.
'We appreciate that necessary orders to this effect, to enable the completion of these steps, have been given,' he added, said IANS.
Menon's comments come amid concerns spoken after political parties in Tamil Nadu about the plight of Tamil civilians wedged in the disagreement between the government troops and the LTTE.
When Mukherjee visited Colombo Tuesday, Rajapaksa told him that he had invited Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and AIDMK leader J. Jayalalitha to Sri Lanka to influence the Tamil Tiger rebels to lay down their weapons and enter into the self-governing mainstream.
Mukherjee said the humanitarian condition of affairs in the northern war-zone came up for discussion and President Rajapaksa certain him that his government would minimise the occupant sufferings.
'In course of our discussions, President Rajapaksa agreed to get bigger the secure zones and also make sure that there is no shelling, firing in the safe zone,' Mukherjee told journalists in New Delhi soon his go back here Wednesday.
'He (Rajapaksa) appealed to all worried to allow the civilians to go to the safe zones so that food, shelter, medicine and safety could be provided to them,' he said.
'We further requested and the president decided to ensure that the relief fabric, which we are sending, reaches the persons who are vulgar by the crash of this disagreement,' Mukherjee had said.

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