Shivshankar Menon holds talks with President Rajapaksa in Kandy

January 17th, 2009 - 1:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, Jan 17 (IANS) Visiting Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon Saturday held talks with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, a day after India announced the second instalment of humanitarian assistance amounting to 40 million (Sri Lankan) rupees for the war-affected Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka’s north.Official sources told IANS that the meeting took place in the morning in the central hill district of Kandy where Rajapaksa and Menon discussed “issues of bilateral interest and exchanged views on the current developments” in the war-ravaged north, where troops are fighting the Tamil Tigers in their last bastions.

Menon Friday handed over a token consignment of medicines to senior presidential advisor Basil Rajapaksa as part of the humanitarian assistance by India to the people stranded in the northern battle zone.

The first consignment of approximately 1,700 tonnes comprising 80,000 ready-to-use family packs containing food, clothing and personal hygiene items arrived in Sri Lanka within three weeks and has been distributed to those in need with the assistance of the ICRC and the Sri Lankan government.

The Indian High Commission in a statement Friday said that India “will continue to work with Sri Lanka in meeting the humanitarian needs of the civilian population in northern Sri Lanka”.

Menon has already met Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, leader of the main opposition United National Party (UNP) Ranil Wickremesinghe, and leaders of key Muslim and Tamil parties, including the pro-LTTE Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in Colombo Friday.

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