Lanka-India ties hinge on Tamils` issue: PM
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Last Updated: Friday, July 17, 2009, 18:34
New Delhi: India today said it has asked Sri Lanka to take "effective measures" to address the concerns of displaced Tamils, as relations between the two neighbours would hinge on the issue.

Recalling his meeting with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakshe at Shram-el-Sheikh this week, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told the Rajya Sabha that "bulk" of the meeting was focussed on the plight of Sri Lankan Tamils.

"We are deeply concerned. I explained to him (Rajapakshe) we have legitimate concern about the welfare of Sri Lankan Tamils. It has a bearing on Sri Lanka's relations with India.

"I emphasised to him that he must take all effective measures to provide meaningful relief and rehabilitation," the Prime Minister said.

Singh was responding to CPI member D Raja who wanted to know the outcome of his meeting with the Sri Lankan President.

"I spent considerable amount of my time in my meeting with Sri Lankan President discussing the Tamil problem. I expressed our concern about the plight of Sri Lankan Tamils, about three lakh people who are internally displaced and living in 33 camps," he said.

Singh was replying to clarifications sought on his statement about his meetings with world leaders at the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit in Egypt.

He also informed Rajapakshe that Colombo has to create conditions for meeting "legitimate political aspirations" of the Tamils under the devolution package.

Bureau Report

First Published: Friday, July 17, 2009, 18:34

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