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Saturday, June 30 , 2012 - 12.00 GMT
India remains committed to achieve political reconciliation in Sri Lanka


India will continue to remain engaged and offer any support to Sri Lanka in its efforts to achieve political reconciliation and settlement, India's National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon said.

The Indian National Security Adviser who was on a one-day visit to Colombo yesterday met President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the President's House and held discussions on recent developments, bilateral relations and areas of common concern. External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris was also present at the meeting.

In a statement India's High Commission in Colombo said Menon's visit to Sri Lanka yesterday has been in the context of regular consultations and exchange of views between the Government of India and the Government of Sri Lanka.
During the meeting, Menon has offered any support required for the Sri Lankan government's measures that are being taken on political reconciliation and settlement.

"While this is a Sri Lankan issue and something that Sri Lanka has to do, we will continue to remain engaged with all concerned and offer any support required in this regard," Menon said in a statement following the meeting with President Rajapaksa.

"India has always stood for a united Sri Lanka within which all citizens can live in equality, justice, dignity and self-respect. We have worked closely with the Government of Sri Lanka on relief, rehabilitation and resettlement of IDPs. India's assistance was appreciated by the Sri Lankan leadership in all my meetings. We remain committed to continue our cooperation," the National Security Adviser said.

The discussion between the Indian official and the Sri Lankan President has also focused on the fishermen's issue.
It was noted that the practical arrangements of October 2008 should be adhered to until an alternative mechanism was agreed upon.

Both sides have agreed that fishermen's associations in both countries, which had met in the past and reached some understandings, needed to meet again to work on developing this further. This could then serve as the basis for finding a solution to this humanitarian issue, Menon noted.

Menon noted that most of the Indian-assisted projects were proceeding well and several projects, particularly those relating to the development of railway infrastructure in the Northern and Southern Provinces, were being implemented well ahead of schedule.

In the past two years, India has committed US$ 750 million under lines of credit and another US$ 350 million under grants-in-aid. There are a number of other new projects under consideration, he said.

President Rajapaksa and the Indian official also discussed maritime cooperation and other security related issues and agreed to take the discussions further.

"Sri Lanka is our close neighbour, with whom we enjoy a multifaceted and dynamic relationship. We look forward to strengthening and further developing this engagement," Menon assured.

Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga and India's High Commissioner in Colombo Ashok K. Kantha were also present during the discussions with the President.

The Indian official also met Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa, Defence and Urban Development Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and the Tamil National Alliance Leader R. Sampanthan.





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Last modified: June 30, 2012.

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