Sri Lanka assures India of safe passage to Tamil civiliansJanuary 28th, 2009 - 7:57 pm ICT by ANI
New Delhi, Jan.28 (ANI): Sri Lanka has assured India that the safe zone for Tamil civilians caught in the crossfire between the Sri Lankan armed forces and the LTTE would be expanded.
Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee, after returning from Colombo, told reporters here on Wednesday, that the assurance was given during his talks with the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse.
“We made it quite clear that our concerns are for the civilian population. Around 150,000 plus civilians are affected by the crossfire. In course of discussion, the President has agreed to expand the safe zone and also assured that there will be no shelling or firing in the safe zone,” Mukherjee said.
“We requested that international agencies like UN High Commission for Refugees, International Red Cross Society, and other international organisations, who are engaged in the relief measures, should be allowed to visit Sri Lanka,and see the situation with their own eyes,” he added.
Mukherjee said beside the recent upsurge in the military offensive against Tamil rebels, issues like implementation of the 13th Amendment was also discussed with Rajapakse, who assured that his government would pay attention to the issue.
“The President (of Sri Lanka) assured me that it will be the area of his urgent attention and he will try to explore the possibilities, and also try to improve the conditions further,” Mukherjee concluded. (ANI)
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