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Indian envoys to meet Sri Lankan President

Colombo, May 21 (ANI): India’s National Security Advisor M.K.Narayanan and Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon will meet Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapakse on Thursday over breakfast.

Their discussions will mainly focus on the humanitarian needs and rehabilitation of the lakhs of people displaced during the ethnic civil war in Sri Lanka.

The war between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan Government lasted for over three decades and claimed over a lakh lives. It ended with the death of LTTE supremo V.Prabhakaran in a firefight in northern Sri Lanka three days ago.
The visit is being held after President Rajapaksa formally announced that the war against the Tamil Tigers was finally over and that the rebel group has been eliminated.

Ahead of his visit, Narayanan met Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi and briefed him about the developments in Sri Lanka.

Narayanan said that India”s primary concern is to ensure that Sri Lankan Tamil civilians are taken care of.

On Tuesday, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee urged the Sri Lankan Government to reach out to Tamils and build a political accommodation that protects the rights of all citizens.

Mukherjee further said the Sri Lankan Government should settle the issue of ethnic minorities, including Tamils.

Sri Lankan troops finished off the last of the LTTE resistance on Monday, wrapping up a three-year offensive to destroy the separatists and win a 25-year-civil war.

The Sri Lankan Government has to provide basic assistance and services to an estimated 265,000 people, who fled the fighting in the northern part of the country.

This latest massive influx of people, who have endured extreme conditions, will put an even greater strain on the camps for Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) that are already buckling under the pressure of the existing IDP population.

Mukherjee said India had already offered a package of Rs. one billion as relief to Sri Lanka and was considering another package of five billion rupees. (ANI)

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