India committed to provide reconstruction assistance to Sri Lanka

Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar on Sunday reaffirmed India`s commitment to provide assistance for the reconstruction efforts in the war ravaged north and eastern parts of Sri Lanka.

Last Updated: Feb 14, 2011, 00:00 AM IST

Colombo: Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar on Sunday reaffirmed India`s commitment to provide assistance for
the reconstruction efforts in the war ravaged north and
eastern parts of Sri Lanka.

Kumar, who is currently in the island for the 3rd
Asian Region conference of the Commonwealth Parliamentary
Association, said in an interaction with Indian journalists
here: "What we are committed (to), we are doing it".

Asked whether India is happy with the pace of
resettlement and rehabilitation in Sri Lanka`s Tamil-dominated
areas after three decades of a bloody civil war, she said "we
should be happy how much of commitment (sic)".

India has pledged 50,000 houses for the internally
displaced persons in Sri Lanka, in addition to developing
infrastructure facilities.

"We should not slow down," Kumar said, referring to
Indian government`s commitments for rehabilitation work in a
post-war Sri Lanka and emphasised "that has not happened".

On the recent incident in which two Indian fishermen
were killed allegedly by the Sri Lanka navy, Kumar said Sri
Lankan authorities need to throughly investigate the incidents
and take suitable action.

The speaker also said that she and her Sri Lankan
counterpart Chamal Rajapksha discussed "more frequent
parliamentary exchanges" between the two countries.

She met senior Sri Lankan government officials along
the sidelines of the CPA conference, including President
Mahinda Rajapaksa and Prime Minister D M Jayaratne.

Kumar said that she discussed with Sri Lankan leaders,
the activities India is planing together with the country to
mark the 2600th anniversary of the enlightenment of Lord
Buddha.

"The event (Sambuddhatva Jayanthi) has an impact.
Sambuddha Jayanthi has a very calming impact, (of)
non-violence and peace throughout the region," she said.

India will arrange an exposition of Kapilavasthu
relics in Sri Lanka after many years following a request made
by the Sri Lankan president.

India is also organising an international conference
on Buddhism in Kandy next month and commissioning an Indian
gallery, including a 16-feet high statue of Lord Buddha, for
the International Buddhist Museum in Kandy.

Kumar is scheduled to visit two UNESCO heritage sites
-- the temple of the tooth relic in Kanday and Sigiriya
frescoes -- during her stay in the island.

PTI