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Lanka has to expedite power devolution: Mukherjee

[PTI, Tuesday, 30 December 2008 15:29 No Comment]

Expressing disappointment over the slow implementation of devolution package in Sri Lanka, India today asked Colombo to expedite the process as it voiced concern over the humanitarian situation in the island due to the war between the army and LTTE.
External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee also said no decision has been taken on when he would travel to Colombo as has been demanded by parties in Tamil Nadu, including DMK.

The Minister said the implementation of the report by a committee on devolution of powers is the "ultimate solution" to the ethnic crisis in the island.

"Some steps have been taken with regard to polls. Elections in some provisional councils have taken place but the process has to be expedited," Mukherjee told PTI.
Mukherjee also said India is of the view that the decades-old ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka has to be resolved not militarily, but through dialogue and the framework which was built up in the 1987 (Indo-Sri Lanka or the Rajiv Gandhi-Jayavardhane) agreement.

"Implementation of the report of the high-powered committee for devolution to address the legitimate aspirations of the ethnic minorities in Sri Lanka, of course, without affecting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country is the ultimate solution," he said. "We shall have to reach that."

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