India determined to accelerate pace of rehabilitation in Sri Lanka: Nirupama Rao

Posted By: Abdul Nisar
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Chennai, Aug 19 (ANI): Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao has said India is determined to accelerate the pace of rehabilitation in Sri Lanka.

"We are determined to accelerate the pace of rehabilitation works there. The recent visit of Lankan President Rajapaksa was very useful in this regard," Rao told mediapersons here on Wednesday after meeting Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi.

With Tamil Nadu housing over 70,000 Sri Lankan refugees in 112 camps set up within the state, Rao assured Karunanidhi that the Central government has accelerated the work for restoring their livelihood.

Rao said a special envoy would look into the developmental needs of displaced Tamils, while the new consular offices in Jaffna and Hambantota would revive links between northern Sri Lanka and south Tamil Nadu.

"We have announced that we will open a consulate general in Jaffna and also a consulate general in the south of the country, in Hambantota. We expect our office in Jaffna to be opened during this year and that will also enable us to assess the needs of the people of that area better," she added.

She further said India has a very extensive programme of assistance for the people of f Sri Lanka through the development of basic facilities like schools, hospitals, providing shelter and building material.

"We have extensive programmes of assistance for the northern part of Sri Lanka and also for the Eastern province," Rao added.

Tamil Nadu government had assisted Sri Lanka with 250,000 family packs, which were distributed to the displaced persons.

Rao's meeting with Karunanidhi followed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's letter to him dated July 9 seeking his views for expediting the rehabilitation process, and Karunanidhi had suggested sending a special envoy to the island nation. (ANI)

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