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India wants to see devolution of political powers in Lanka

[PTI, Tuesday, 28 April 2009 19:25 No Comment]

With Sri Lankan government agreeing to halt combat operations against LTTE, India will press the Mahinda Rajapaksa government to undertake immediate relief and rehabilitation measures besides devolution of political powers to ensure ethnic Tamils live comfortably.

On its part, India will step up its humanitarian assistance for Tamil civilians by sending shipments of more food, medicines and other essential supplies. India also proposes to send more doctors and expand the 100-bed hospital in Vavuniya, sources said.

India will also continue to push its request for extradition of LTTE chief V Prabhakaran, if he is caught alive. But New Delhi is not too sure that Colombo will hand him over before trying him in Sri Lanka for the umpteen crimes committed in that country.

India is happy with Sri Lanka’s decision to halt its combat operations in the north, giving relief to civilians, a development which New Delhi has been pressing for.

The announcement to halt combat operations came three days after National Security Adviser M K Narayanan and Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon visited Colombo and met President Rajapaksa to impress upon immediate need for halting military operations to avoid "unacceptable" civilian casualties.

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