Australia to consider more assistance for Lankan IDP
Last Updated: Monday, November 30, 2009, 17:27
Colombo: Expressing satisfaction over the expeditious resettlement of the Tamil IDPs in Wanni, Australia has assured Sri Lanka that it would consider more assistance.

"With the post conflict process now underway in Sri Lanka, Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith agreed to consider providing more assistance to Sri Lanka for the ongoing resettlement and reconstruction programmes," Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry said in a statement here.

This issue came up for a discussion when Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama had held a meeting with his Australian counterpart Stephen Smith late last week on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Port of Spain, it said.

"Australian Foreign Minister during the meeting stated that he welcomed the early resettlement of the IDP from the welfare villages and recent announcement regarding the freedom of movement of those remaining IDP in the welfare villages," the statement said.

Recalling his recent visit to Sri Lanka, Smith has said this had afforded him an opportunity to get first hand experience about the positive development in the post conflict phase, the statement said.

Smith also thanked the Government of Sri Lanka for its support in minimising illegal migration from this country to Australia. Referring excellent bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and Australia, Bogollagama expressed confidence that this relationship would further enhance in the years to come.

Meanwhile, during a meeting with his Canadian counterpart Lawrence Cannon, Bogollagama has exchanged views on assistance required with regard to reconstruction in the post conflict phase in Sri Lanka.

Bogollagama has recalled with appreciation Cannon's visits during this year which he said had contributed to bringing about greater understanding on the requirements for the resettlement on the IDPs, the ministry statement said.

Referring to the large Sri Lankan Diaspora in Canada, Cannon has said they play an important role in Canadian political, economic, social and cultural spheres.

Bogollagama's discussions with his two counterparts also have centered on regional and international issues of mutual concern, it said. PTI

First Published: Monday, November 30, 2009, 17:27

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