Indian envoy briefs Pranab on Sri Lanka, plight of civilians

April 23rd, 2009 - 6:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, April 23 (IANS) As Tamil Nadu observed a shutdown over the plight of civilians caught in the military offensive in Sri Lanka, Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Alok Prasad Thursday briefed External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee about developments in the island nation.
Prasad met Mukherjee and Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon and told them about the massive exodus of Tamil civilians from the no-fire zone in Sri Lanka in the last few days that has triggered a humanitarian crisis.

“Discussions focused on the plight of civilians and the possibility of the refugees coming to India,” official sources said.

They also discussed sending more humanitarian aid to Sri Lanka, the sources said.

The talks come on a day when Tamil Nadu’s ruling DMK party has called a dawn-to-dusk shutdown seeking a ceasefire in Sri Lanka, virtually crippling life in the state and Puducherry.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held a special meeting late Wednesday night to discuss the humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka. After the meeting, India underlined its unhappiness at the plight of civilians in Sri Lanka and asked the violence-torn nation to ensure that the killings of Tamil civilians are stopped.

New Delhi also stressed that it will do “all it can to also ameliorate the humanitarian crisis”.

The number of Tamil civilians fleeing the war zone crossed the 100,000 figure Wednesday, said Sri Lankan authorities.

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