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Rehabilitation: Centre to send envoy to Lanka

[Express Buzz, Thursday, 19 August 2010 15:53 No Comment]

The Central government will send a special envoy to Sri Lanka early September to assess the situation there with regard to displaced Tamils and their rehabilitation, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao has said, adding that two Indian consular offices would be set up at Jaffna and in southern Sri Lanka this year.

“We are determined to accelerate the pace of rehabilitation works there. The recent visit of Lankan President Rajapaksa was very useful in this regard,” Rao told mediapersons on Wednesday after holding discussions for about 50 minutes with Chief Minister M Karunanidhi at his Gopalapuram residence.

Rao said the special envoy would look into developmental needs of the displaced Tamils, while the new consular offices would revive links between northern Sri Lanka and south Tamil Nadu.

Rao’s meeting with Karunanidhi followed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s letter to him dated July 9 seeking his views for expediting the rehabilitation process, and Karunanidhi had suggested sending a special envoy to the island nation.

“We have extensive programmes of assistance for the northern part of Sri Lanka and also for the Eastern province,” Rao said, adding that the Tamil Nadu government had already given 2.5 lakh family packs for the war-hit Tamils in Lanka.

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