India supports Sri Lankan reconciliation, to stay engaged

June 29th, 2012 - 9:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Colombo, June 29 (IANS) India Friday reiterated its support to all actors seeking a solution to the Tamil situation in Sri Lanka, but made it clear that political reconciliation is “a Sri Lankan issue” and “something that Sri Lanka has to do”.

National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon called on Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and met Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris here. He also held meetings with Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa and Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

In his meetings, Menon underlined the need for speeding up political reconciliation and a settlement of the decades-old Tamil issue.

“I discussed recent developments, bilateral relations and areas of common concern. I was also briefed about steps being taken by the Government of Sri Lanka on political reconciliation and settlement,” he told reporters here after the talks.

“While this is a Sri Lankan issue and something that Sri Lanka has to do, we will continue to remain engaged with all concerned and offer any support required in this regard,” he said.

Menon also discussed the reconciliation issue with Tamil National Alliance leader R. Sampanthan.

“India has always stood for a united Sri Lanka within which all citizens can live in equality, justice, dignity and self-respect,” he said.

The two sides also discussed maritime cooperation and decided to resolve the fishermen’s issue from a humanitarian perspective.

In the past two years, India has committed $750 million under lines of credit and another $350 million under grants-in-aid.

In this context, Menon voiced satisfaction that most of the Indian-assisted projects were proceeding well and several projects, particularly those relating to the development of railway infrastructure in the Northern and Southern Provinces, were being implemented well ahead of schedule.

Menon’s visit to Sri Lanka came days after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met President Rajapaksa on the margins of the Rio+20 Summit in Brazil.

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