Indo-Lankan high level talks on Tamil issue

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New Delhi, Oct 26: India and Sri Lanka will hold a high level meet on Sunday, Oct 26 to resolve the issue of ethnic Tamils in the island nation in New Delhi. The meeting will take place between Basil Rajapaksa, Special Adviser of the Sri Lankan President and External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

Basil who is on a one-day visit to India is also scheduled to meet M K Narayan, the Indian National Security Adviser(NSA) and Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon to bring a message from Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa on his intentions. Mahinda Rajapaksa, who had a telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, assured him that 'all necessary measures' are being taken to ensure safety and well-being of the Tamil community in the island nation.

The Central government have earlier asked Colombo to ensure that the rights of Tamils in Sri Lanka do not get enmeshed in the hostilities and that their safety is not compromised after serious concern were raised over deteriorating humanitarian situation in the island nation.

Pranab Mukherjee said that Colombo has assured New Delhi that the safety and well-being of the Tamil community there would be taken care of.

He reiterated the government's conviction that there is no military solution to the ethnic conflict and stressed the need for a peacefully negotiated political settlement within the framework of a united Sri Lanka respecting rights of the minorities, including the Tamil community.

He said India has emphasised to the Sri Lankan Government that the safety and security of civilians "must be safeguarded at all costs and that food and essential supplies be allowed to reach them unhindered" in the conflict zone.

ANI

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