Today's Paper

India monitoring situation with “deep concern”

Sandeep Dikshit

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday said the government was monitoring with “deep concern and anxiety the evolving situation in Sri Lanka, in particular the conditions of Tamil civilians in the conflict zones.”

Mr. Mukherjee earlier convened a stocktaking meeting with Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon and India’s High Commissioner in Colombo Alok Prasad, who was summoned here for consultations.

“We understand that over 1,00,000 civilians have emerged from the no-fire zone into areas under government control in the past three days but the lives of several thousands of innocent civilians remain threatened. We are very unhappy at the continued killings in Sri Lanka. All killings must stop. There must be an immediate cessation of all hostilities,” Mr. Mukherjee said.

In order to convey these concerns to the Sri Lankan government, the Centre, at a high-level meeting chaired by the Prime Minister, decided to send Mr. Menon and National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan to Colombo on Friday, he said.

The meeting reiterated India’s resolve to extend all possible assistance to the internally displaced people in Sri Lanka.

It noted the dispatch of 40,000 packets (about 1,000 tonnes) of ‘family relief packs’ by ship from Chennai on Wednesday.

The ship will reach Sri Lanka on Saturday and the consignment will be handed over by the Indian High Commissioner to the International Committee of the Red Cross for distribution to the needy.

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