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SL dragging feet on devolution of powers

[IBNLIVE, Friday, 17 February 2012 12:36 No Comment]

India should move beyond the Free Trade Agreement (FTA), build on complimentaries in trade and services, establish more interactive mechanisms, encourage Indian investments in Sri Lanka to compete successfully against other players like China, said Lakhan Lal Mehrotra former high commissioner to Sri Lanka.

Mehrotra said India should impress upon Sri Lanka, the acute necessity to move fast in the direction of demilitarisation (of Tamil majority areas now with the armed forces) and devolution of powers in the North and East of the Island nation in a spirit of friendship, mutual benefit and trust.

He said there has been good progress on the rehabilitation of IDPs and of the detainees, with most of them settled by now, but on the issues of devolution and demilitarisation, Sri Lanka has been dragging its feet.

Delivering the inaugural address at the International conference on “Sri Lanka after LTTE: Implications for India,” he said, China took full advantage of India’s inability to supply lethal equipment to Lanka due to objections from TN, and it (China) more than adequately filled the space.

“China’s growing involvement with Sri Lanka since then, especially in strategically important sectors,

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