India lauds Lanka’s reconciliation efforts
Indian External Affairs Minister S M Krishna lauded the Sri Lankan
government for commencing a structural dialogue on persuing a political
solution for national reconciliation as well as reconstruction and
development. “We will do whatever we can to support this process,” he
said making a statement in the Lok Sabha on ‘The situation in Sri Lanka’
“Presently, our focus should be on the welfare and well-being of
Tamils in Sri Lanka.
“Their rehabilitation and rebuilding should be of the highest and
most immediate priority,” he said.
“A just and fair settlement of the political problem is of utmost
“I have, nonetheless, stressed to my Sri Lankan counterpart, the need
for an early withdrawal of emergency regulations, investigations into
allegations of human rights violations, restoration of normalcy in
affected areas and redress of humanitarian concerns of affected
families,” Krishna said.
He also said the relationship between India and Sri Lanka is based
upon shared historical, cultural, ethnic and civilizational ties and
extensive people-to-people interaction.
“In recent years, the relationship has become multifaceted and
diverse, encompassing all areas of contemporary relevance,” Krishna
said. He also said the Indian government has accorded the highest
priority to the welfare of displaced persons in Sri Lanka.“In June 2009,
the Prime Minister announced a grant of 500 crore Rupees for relief,
rehabilitation and resettlement work in Sri Lanka. Towards this
humanitarian effort, India dispatched family relief packs, deployed an
emergency field hospital, conducted an artificial limb fitment camp and
deployed seven de-mining teams in Northern Sri Lanka. It also gifted
more than 10,400 MT of shelter material, four lakhs of bags of cement,
95,000 agricultural starter packs and 500 tractors to revive
agricultural activities in Northern Sri Lanka,” he said.
“Our primary objective in all that we are doing in Sri Lanka is to
ensure the welfare and well-being of Sri Lankan Tamils, including
displaced persons and to assist in the development of Northern Sri
Lanka. In a joint press statement issued on the occasion of the visit of
the Sri Lankan External Affairs Minister to India on May 17, 2011, I
urged the expeditious implementation of measures by the government of
Sri Lanka to ensure resettlement and genuine reconciliation, including
early return of displaced persons to their respective homes.
I am happy to convey to the House that according to information
available to us, around 290,000 IDPs have already been resettled and
only around 10,000 IDPs remain in the camps,” he said.