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‘Wait and see’ Sri Lanka’s steps on devolution package: Manmohan

[Hindu, Wednesday, 25 March 2009 14:45 No Comment]

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse had recently reaffirmed his commitment to a devolution package, which would fully satisfy the island Tamils, but India may have to "wait and see" the actual steps being taken in this regard, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said.


Replying to a letter of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on the Sri Lankan issue, Dr. Singh said Rajapakse had also said that steps to work out a devolution package were being initiated immediately. "We may wait and see what steps are actually taken," he said.


Dr. Singh said that India had urged the Sri Lankan Government to fulfil their commitments to the Tamil population in Sri Lanka and come up with a proper devolution of powers to the provinces in that country. "We have indicated that this should also include assurances of equality and equal rights for Tamils, as is the case for other citizens of Sri Lanka," he said.


He said Karunanidhi’s letter of February 22 last, mentioning the evolving human tragedy in Tamil dominated areas of the island, had affected him deeply. "The plight of thousands of innocent Tamil citizens of Sri Lanka, who have become unfortunate victims of the ongoing conflict is indeed pitiable.

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