Lankan President assures Manmohan of Tamil community's safety

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New Delhi, Oct 18 (AI): Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Saturday assured Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh that all necessary steps are being taken to ensure the safety and well being of the Tamil community in the island nation.

Rajapakse gave the assurance when he telephoned Dr. Manmohan Singh to discuss the recent developments in Sri Lanka.

During the telephonic conversation, Dr Singh expressed his deep concern over the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the North of Sri Lanka, especially with regard to the plight of the civilians caught in the hostilities.

Dr Singh said the safety and the security of these civilians must be safeguarded at all costs, and pointed out that in order to address the humanitarian situation, continued and uninterrupted relief supplies be ensured for the Internally Displaced Persons.

Dr Singh said the rights and the welfare of the Tamil community of Sri Lanka should not get enmeshed in the on-going hostilities against the LTTE.

He reiterated that there was no military solution to the conflict and urged, the Lankan President to start a political process for a peacefully negotiated political settlement within the framework of a united Sri Lanka.

He also stressed on the need to nurture the democratic process in the Eastern Province. The Prime Minister urged Rajapaksa to instruct the Sri Lankan Navy to desist from firing on Indian fishermen and said killing of fishermen is unacceptable.

Both agreed to work on practical arrangements to prevent such incidents.

ANI

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