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Updated: June 8, 2010 03:34 IST

Rajapaksa to brief India on resettlement

B. Muralidhar Reddy
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Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
AP Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa leaves on a three-day official visit to India on Tuesday for detailed discussions with his interlocutors in New Delhi on the post-war political situation in the island nation.

The visit, first since Mr. Rajapaksa was re-elected President in January, assumes added importance in view of concerns in India about the welfare of the nearly three lakh war displaced Tamil civilians.

Mr. Rajapaksa is expected to brief Indian leaders on the initiatives taken by his government to forge a consensus on a political solution to the ethnic conflict and exchange views on expansion of cooperation in economy and defence.

Indications are that at least five agreements will be signed in the course of his visit. They pertain to cooperation to fight terrorism, transfer of sentenced prisoners, mutual legal assistance in criminal matters, cultural cooperation, and Indian assistance for small development projects in Sri Lanka.

Over two lakh displaced people have been re-settled in their original places of habitation in the Northern Province, though it will be a while before they can regain their means of livelihood as large parts in the region are still mined. The government, which had initially hoped to re-settle all the displaced by the end of 2009, has now set August as the deadline for closure of relief camps housing the refugees.

Over two weeks ago, Mr. Rajapaksa had appointed a ‘Truth and Reconciliation Commission' to probe the events from February 2002 till the end of the war and make recommendations to ensure that such events did not recur.

On the eve of his visit Mr. Rajapaksa met a delegation of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) which has been pressing for an immediate re-settlement of the war displaced and initiation of a political process for resolution of the ethnic strife.

A statement by the President's Secretariat quoted Mr. Rajapaksa as telling the delegation, “Trust me, together we can find a solution to the problems faced by all our people.”

It said R. Sampanthan, who led the TNA delegation, said they were prepared to participate in finding a solution. “We are not demanding the solution that Prabakaran wanted,” he said.

Other issues discussed included the speedy release of all detainees against whom there were no charges, those who were held on confessions and those who could not be charged in court.

President Rajapaksa told the delegation that he had already authorised the release of 4,000 detainees, especially those under 18 years, bringing the figure down to less than 8,000. “We don't want to keep them for longer than is necessary, and we want them to return to society. But we must also ensure that there are no threats to society.”

Rajapakse is Asia's Milosavich (Serbian). Rajapakse should be arrested by India and handed over to International Tribunal against Tamil Genocide.

from:  Jay
Posted on: Jun 9, 2010 at 06:56 IST

Rajapakse is a criminal against humanity.Dont let him inside India.Ur not welcome here Mr.Rajapakse.

from:  Velmurugan
Posted on: Jun 8, 2010 at 11:53 IST

President Rajapaksa has to ensure that all citizens are to be assured of their safety and security and guarantee protection from any sources which instigate human rights violations. This will be possible only if an exclusive council with nominated members from the ethnic, minority and immigrant communities is formed in bottom level of Local Administration and Police Departments who can be contacted for any immediate assistance. This responsible council can be given the right to vouch the reliability of detainees who are still not released while suspected as threats to the nation. The high profile members can guarantee for their return to the mainstream society. Let all young people who had associated with militia and waged war be given the chance to return to their family and lead a normal life here afterwards.

At the same time the government should not let any nationalist movements in disguise which instigate people to nurse feelings of repugnance targeting people of a particular creed or culture, whether in majority or minority societies.

Let me recall our Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to Sri Lanka in November,2009 primarily to deliver the 4th Lakshman Kadirgamar Memorial Lecture on Saturday 14th November, 2009 and be at the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Sri Dalada Malingawa Temple in Kandy. He urged Lankans to make use of the defeat of terrorism and secessionism to permanently change the complexion of inter-ethnic relations for the betterment of the island nation. He reiterated that it will be important for everybody in Sri Lanka to realize that a Political settlement is not a ‘zero-sum game’. As a down-to-earth advice, he even cited India’s experience in managing multi-religious and multi-cultural societies. His speech gave thrust on democratic principles of devolution of power, equality for accessing opportunities and equal status before constitution that facilitated India to address divisive tendencies of all sorts. His said “clear separation of powers, rule of law, social justice, secularism, free press, vigilant citizens and civil groups have ensured that threats to your sovereignty from within or without are tackled with an inner strength that can come only through the ballot”.

from:  Prof.Madan Menon Thottasseri
Posted on: Jun 8, 2010 at 07:48 IST
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