Colombo: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has assured Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa of all support for resettlement of the Tamil civilians, displaced due to fighting between security forces and the LTTE in the north.
During an interaction shortly after the conclusion of the 15th Non-Aligned Summit at Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt on on Thursday, Singh told Rajapaksa that he had won the war against the LTTE and can now also win the peace.
“President Rajapaksa thanked India for the understanding it had shown in the need to defeat the terrorism of the LTTE, the assistance it had already given in bringing relief to the IDPs and the offer of continued support in this regard,” an official release said here.
President Rajapaksa also hailed the strong support extended to Sri Lanka in the special session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva recently, it said.
“Rajapaksa’s enormous talent should help solve the long drawn out issue in Sri Lanka permanently,” Singh said.
Singh said that he had the highest confidence in Rajapaksa’s capability in resolving the tasks presented in the post- conflict situation in Sri Lanka, as he had a clear vision of what has to be done in the current situation, the release said.
The discussions between the two leaders covered a wide range of issues of mutual interest such as the IDPs in the north, proposals for devolution of power and a political solution in Sri Lanka, the release said.
The issue of fishermen of the two countries in the waters north of Sri Lanka, the current Development in the North and East, and continued cooperation between India and Sri Lanka also figured during the talks.
Rajapaksa assured Singh that the government was taking all steps to keep to its target of re-settling the displaced Tamils in 180 days.
This programme was first announced to the high-level Indian officials who visited Sri Lanka for exchange of views shortly after the defeat of the LTTE in May.
“The government was keen to expedite the process of resettlement and rehabilitation, but it had to also be conscious of the need to ensure the safety of these citizens, especially from land mines and other dangers,” Rajapaksa said.
He said the people there were also to be provided with the necessary infrastructure facilities and new livelihood opportunities.
“Sri Lanka saw both the North and East as new areas for economic development, with the many opportunities available for investment, now that they had been cleared of the grip of terrorism,” Rajapaksa said.
The possibility of Indian investment in these areas, mutually beneficial to the two countries, was also discussed with the objective of further exploring the opportunities that are now being worked out.