The Web Sri Lanka In Focus

Saturday, 25 October 2008

India-Lanka discussions on situation in island nation tomorrow

India and Sri Lanka will have high-level discussions on the situation in the island nation, particularly concerning the well-being of ethnic Tamils, here tomorrow amid mounting pressure on government from some Tamil parties to act.
Basil Rajapaksa, Special Adviser of the Sri Lankan President, will hold talks with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee during which he is expected to spell out the measures being taken by Colombo to ensure safety of civilians while undertaking the military campaign against the LTTE.

Basil, who will also meet National Security Adviser M K Narayanan and Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon during his day-long visit, is expected to bring a message from President Mahinda Rajapaksa on his intentions.

The Sri Lankan President, during a telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last Saturday, assured him that "all necessary measures" are being taken to ensure safety and well-being of the Tamil community in the island nation.

Fearing that civilian Tamils in Sri Lanka may become victims of circumstances, the Indian side is keen to know what steps the Rajapaksa government is taking and planning to take to ensure their safety amidst raging conflict between the military and LTTE in north of the island nation.

Singh has already told the Sri Lankan President to ensure that the rights of civilian Tamils are not compromised and they do not get "enmeshed" in the conflict.

The fact that Sri Lanka is sending a high-ranking envoy here to discuss the situation is seen here as "seriousness" being attached by Colombo to keep New Delhi posted on happenings in that country.

The UPA government is facing intense pressure from its key constituent DMK and some other Tamil parties to act to end conflict in Sri Lanka.