India demands political solution for Lankan Tamils

May 19th, 2009 - 10:58 pm ICT by ANI  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, May 19 (ANI): Reiterating New Delhi’s stand for a political solution to the issue of minority rights, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday urged the Sri Lankan government to reach out to Tamils and build a political accommodation that protects the rights of all its citizens.

Mukherjee further said the Sri Lankan government should settle the issue of ethnic minorities including Tamils.

“There should be political solution includes devolution of power, participation in the election and have the full rights as citizens of Sri Lanka. Of course, maintaining the territorial integrity of that country and within the framework of Sri Lankan constitution,” Mukherjee said.

Sri Lankan troops finished off the last of the LTTE resistance on Monday, wrapping up a three-year offensive to destroy the separatists and win a 25-year-civil war.

The Sri Lankan government has to provide basic assistance and services to an estimated 265,000 people, who fled the fighting in the northern part of the country.

This latest massive influx of people, who have endured extreme conditions, will put an even greater strain on the camps for Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) that are already buckling under the pressure of the existing IDP population.

Mukherjee said India had already offered a package of Rs. one billion as relief to Sri Lanka and was considering another package of five billion rupees.

“We have assured the Sri Lankan authorities that we will provide the necessary support. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has committed Rs. 100 crore-relief support to these people. Tamil Nadu government has also announced a package of Rs. 25 crore. I understand nearly Rs. 45 crore have already been spent. A package of almost Rs. 500 crore, which will be required for the rehabilitation, is under declaration,” Mukherjee added. (ANI)

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