Lanka nod to forward Indian relief materials: Pranab

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Chennai, Oct 26 (UNI) The Sri Lankan Government today agreed to despatch 800 tonnes of relief materials, to be given by India to the two lakh distressed Tamil people in the Island nation affected by the decades-long ethnic conflict.

An agreement to this effect was reached during the talks between the Indian Government and visiting Sri Lankan Envoy Basil Rajapaksa at New Delhi, Union External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee told mediapersons here today after a 90-minute long discussion with Chief Minister M Karunanidhi.

Emerging out of the meeting, Mr Mukherjee said the Indian Government had agreed to provide 800 tonnes of relief materials.

Besides, Tamil Nadu Government would also collect and send relief materials to the affected Tamils.

During the meeting, Mr Basil assured to provide humanitarian relief to the distressed Tamil people through agencies like International Red Cross, United Nations and the Indian Government.

''The Sri Lankan Government will assist and facilitate despatch of humanitarian relief supplies given by India through convoys to the Northern Sri Lanka for the suffering Tamils on a continuous basis,'' he added.

Mr Mukherjee said the Lankan Envoy also agreed to implement, without any further delay, the real devolution of powers as agreed upon by the High Powered Committee, while assuring that President Mahinda Rajapakse would himself take charge of the political package and push it through politically.

Mr Mukherjee insisted in the meeting that this should be done without any further delay.

The Lankan envoy also promised to set up a committee to benchmark on what could be done when India stressed the need for increased devolution to the Eastern province which would create confidence and resettlement efforts in areas cleared of the LTTE, Mr Mukherjee said.

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