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Krishna urges Sri Lanka to start dialogue with Tamils, and others

[MISC, Thursday, 4 August 2011 12:19 No Comment]

(ANI): External Affairs Minister S.M Krishna on Thursday urged Colombo to start a dialogue with all communities in Sri Lanka including Tamils for a lasting solution to the ethnic conflict.

Making a statement in the Lok Sabha, Krishna said that India is of the view that the end of conflict in Sri Lanka provides an opportunity to pursue a lasting political settlement in Sri Lanka within the framework of a united Sri Lanka, acceptable to all the communities in Sri Lanka including the Tamils.

Krishna said that the sooner Sri Lanka can come to a political arrangement within which all the communities feel comfortable, and which works for all of them, the better. He underlined the need for a structured dialogue to pursue a political solution for national reconciliation as well as reconstruction and development. Krishna said that India "will do whatever we can to support this process."

Emphasising that Sri Lanka has borne the brunt of terrorism for nearly three-decades, Krishna said: "The end of the long period of armed conflict in Sri Lanka in May 2009, left around 3,00,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) living in camps in Northern Sri Lanka and general devastation of infrastructure in the affected areas."

"India has accorded the highest priority to the welfare of IDPs in Sri Lanka. In June 2009, the Prime Minister announced a grant of 500 crore Rupees for relief, rehabilitation and resettlement work in Sri Lanka. Towards this humanitarian effort, India dispatched family relief packs, deployed an emergency field hospital, conducted an artificial limb fitment camp and deployed seven de-mining teams in Northern Sri Lanka," he said

" It also gifted more than 10,400 MT of shelter material, 4 lakh cement bags, 95,000 agricultural starter packs and 500 tractors to revive agricultural activities in Northern Sri Lanka," he added

He further said India’s primary objective in Sri Lanka is to ensure the welfare and well being of Sri Lankan Tamils, including internally displaced persoms and to assist in the development of Northern Sri Lanka.

Krishna said, during his meetings with his Sri Lankan counterpart in Thimpu, he conveyed India’s concern over violence against Indian fishermen and stressed the need to ensure that these incidents do not recur.

[Full Coverage]

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