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India advises Lanka how to curb external interference


India believes that an agreement between the Sri Lankan government and the TNA will thwart external interference in post-war Sri Lanka, according to a statement issued by the Indian High Commission in Colombo quoting the Indian Foreign Secretary in New York.
Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai make this assessment following a meeting between Indian Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa in New York on the sidelines of the UNGA.

Asked whether there had been any kind of discussion on reports of human rights abuses during the war against the LTTE, a case filed on Friday (Sept. 23) in the US Federal Court alleging human rights abuses, and protests against Rajapaksa’s visit to the United States, the Foreign Secretary said: “I think the discussion was in general terms on the need for addressing the issue in Sri Lanka. Our Prime Minister reiterated that a successful conclusion of negotiations and discussions with the representatives of the Tamil parties would in fact obviate the need for outsiders to start passing judgment or to get involved. So, the emphasis was more on the political dialogue within Sri Lanka.”

The TNA recently returned to the negotiating table following US exerting pressure on the one-time LTTE proxy to resume talks on devolution and national reconciliation. US Assistant Secretary of State Robert O. Blake went to the extent of announcing the resumption of talks during his recent visit to Colombo.

The Indian High Commission yesterday said that the two sides had discussed bilateral relations and other matters of mutual interest. The HC said: “President Rajapaksa briefed the PM on developments relating to the devolution of powers through discussions between the Government of Sri Lanka and the TNA as the representatives of the Tamil parties. They also mentioned that parallel discussions are taking place within the Parliamentary Select Committee.

The PM and President Rajapaksa also discussed the issues of the resettlement of displaced persons, 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 as these are found to be useful.”


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