Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has assured Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that all necessary measures were being taken to ensure the safety and well being of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka.
The PM emphasised that the safety and the security of these civilians must be safeguarded at all costs when Rajapakse telephoned him on Saturday.
This is the fourth day running that the situation in Sri Lanka has kept leaders and bureaucrats in both the countries busy. On Friday, New Delhi had summoned Sri Lankan High Commissioner Romesh Jayasinghe to express “serious concern” over the situation.
“Rajapaksa telephoned to discuss the recent developments in Sri Lanka. During the conversation, the PM expressed his deep concern on the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the North of Sri Lanka, especially on the plight of the civilians caught in the hostilities,” a PMO statement said.
The PM also said in order to address the humanitarian situation “continued and uninterrupted relief supplies be ensured for the internally displaced persons”.
Singh stressed that the rights and the welfare of the Tamil community should not get enmeshed in the ongoing hostilities against the LTTE. He reiterated that there was no military solution to the conflict and urged Rajapaksa to start a political process for a peacefully negotiated political settlement.
Singh also asked the Lankan President to instruct his navy to desist from firing on Indian fishermen and reiterated that killing of fishermen is unacceptable.
Pranab may visit Lanka
External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee is likely to undertake a visit to Colombo to discuss the situation arising out of the military offensive in LTTE-held north, sources said on Saturday.
The decision in this regard is understood to have been reached during the conversation between Rajapaksa and the Prime Minister.