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Govt.-TNA talks crucial: Indian PM

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The two sides also discussed the issues of resettlement of displaced people including the housing project which is being undertaken with Indian assistance. They also had a detailed discussion on the fisheries issue
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has reiterated at a meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa that a successful conclusion of talks between the government and the TNA will obviate the need for outsiders to pass judgments and interfere in the affairs of Sri Lanka, officials said yesterday.

Indian Foreign Secretary Shri Ranjan Mathai told journalists in New York that the two sides discussed bilateral relations and other matters of mutual interest on the sidelines of the UN summit. “President Rajapaksa briefed the PM on developments relating to the devolution of powers through discussions between his Government and the TNA. They also mentioned that parallel discussions were taking place within the Parliamentary Select Committee,” he said.

According to Mr. Mathai, the two sides also discussed the issues of resettlement of displaced people including the housing project which is being undertaken with Indian assistance. They also had a detailed discussion on the fisheries issue, and it was noted that another meeting of the Joint Working Group on Fisheries would soon be convened.

“It was also felt that further meetings between fishermen of the two countries should also be held,” he said.

The High Commission of India in Colombo released the transcript of the news conference to the local media yesterday. (KB)

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