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India for negotiated political settlement to SL conflict

Foreign Secy Shivshankar Menon, during the talks with the SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa, urged to move early towards a peacefully negotiated political settlement to ensure that all communities live in peace.

world Updated: Jan 18, 2009 14:14 IST
TV Sriram

India has made it clear that Sri Lanka needed to move expeditiously towards a peacefully negotiated political settlement to the decades-old ethnic conflict in the island nation to ensure that all communities, including the Tamils, live in peace and with dignity.

Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon, during the discussions he had with the Sri Lankan leaders including President Mahinda Rajapaksa as part of his two-day visit here, welcomed the Island nation's commitment for a devolution package in the embattled north.

Menon, who concluded his visit on Saturday, "urged early movement towards a peacefully negotiated political settlement in the island, including in the north," an Indian High Commission release said on Sunday.

President Rajapaksa indicated his government's desire to rapidly move on from military success against the LTTE to a political solution of the Sri Lankan issues, it said.

During his meetings here, Menon emphasised the importance of a political understanding within the framework of a united Sri Lanka, wherein all communities including the Tamils live in peace and with dignity, it said.

He welcomed the Sri Lankan government's commitment to fully implement the 13th Amendment to the Constitution on devolution of powers to provinces, the mission release said.

Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama during his talks with Menon said the issue was being deliberated.

"In this context, Bogollagama observed that the government is currently in the process of exploring several avenues of implementing the 13th Amendment to the Constitution," a Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry statement said on Friday.