Pranab says Sri Lanka Govt. has been told to protect rights of TamilsOctober 22nd, 2008 - 7:23 pm ICT by ANI
New Delhi, Oct 22 (ANI): The Union government has said that it has asked Colombo to ensure that the rights of Tamils in Sri Lanka do not get enmeshed in the hostilities and that their safety is not compromised after serious concern were raised over deteriorating humanitarian situation in the island nation.
External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said in Lok Sabha today that Colombo has assured New Delhi that the safety and well being of the Tamil community there would be taken care of.
President Mahinda Rajapaksas senior adviser Basil Rajapaksa will visit India shortly for discussions in this regard, Mukherjee said in the identical statement.
In Lok Sabha, he laid the statement, as he was unable to read it out because of uproar created by Left parties over Kerala rice issue.
He reiterated the governments conviction that there is no military solution to the ethnic conflict and stressed the need for a peacefully negotiated political settlement within the framework of a united Sri Lanka respecting rights of the minorities, including the Tamil community.
The situation in Sri Lanka is of serious concern to the government, in particular the deteriorating humanitarian situation in north of Sri Lanka, he said.
We are concerned about the plight of the civilians caught in the hostilities and the growing number of internally displaced persons, Mukherjee said.
Mukherjees statement in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha came against the backdrop of increasing pressure from ally DMK and other Tamil political parties on the UPA government to act to stop conflict in Sri Lanka.
He said India has emphasised to the Sri Lankan government that the safety and security of civilians must be safeguarded at all costs and that food and essential supplies be allowed to reach them unhindered in the conflict zone. (ANI)
Tags: basil rajapaksa, conflict in sri lanka, conflict zone, dmk, ethnic conflict, external affairs minister, external affairs minister pranab mukherjee, humanitarian situation, island nation, lanka govt, left parties, Lok Sabha, military solution, political settlement, pranab mukherjee, rajya sabha, sri lankan government, tamil community, union government, uproar