Lanka crisis: India urges negotiation

Expressing concern over the continuing humanitarian crisis in the north of Sri Lanka,resulting out of the armed conflict between government forces and the Tamil Tigers...

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: January 19, 2009 12:40 am

Expressing concern over the continuing humanitarian crisis in the north of Sri Lanka,resulting out of the armed conflict between government forces and the Tamil Tigers,India has once again urged its neighbour to “move quickly on the path of finding a negotiated political settlement”.

During his discussions with a large number of Sri Lankan leaders and officials,India’s Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon,who concluded a two-day trip to the island nation on Sunday,reiterated that New Delhi would like Sri Lanka to ensure the safety and security of all internally displaced civilian population.

Menon met a host of Sri Lankan leaders,including President Mahinda Rajapaksa,Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama and Opposition leader and former prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe,during his stay in Colombo. He also met senior bureaucrats including his Sri Lankan counterpart Dr Palitha Kohona during which he was informed of the recent developments in Sri Lanka.

President Rajapaksa told Menon that Sri Lanka was desirous of quickly moving on towards a political solution to the Tamil issue after the army’s recent military success in the north. Menon stressed on the importance of finding a political understanding within the framework of a united Sri Lanka,wherein all communities,including the kTamil population,live in peace and dignity,a government statement said on Sunday.

In this regard,Menon welcomed the Sri Lankan Government’s commitment,reiterated to him during the current visit,to fully implement the 13th Amendment and devolve further powers to the provinces.

Menon also conveyed India’s decision to offer more assistance of relief material for the displaced civilian population.

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