Reconciliation, a Lankan issue, says Menon
India’s National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon said that
reconciliation is entirely a “Sri Lankan issue” and India was willing to
provide all possible assistance to achieve that goal.
In a media interaction following a series of meetings in Colombo
including talks with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Indian National
Security Advisor said that his visit to Sri Lanka has been in the
context of regular consultations and exchange of views between the
Governments of India and Sri Lanka.
On the bilateral front, we noted that most of the Indian-assisted
projects were proceeding well and several projects, particularly those
relating to the development of railway infrastructure in the Northern
and Southern Provinces, were being implemented well ahead of schedule.
Menon, who also held talks with Minister of External Affairs G.L.
Peiris, Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa, Defence
Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and TNA leader R. Sampanthan, said that
India had always stood for a “united Sri Lanka” where all citizens can
live in equality, justice, dignity and self-respect, and New Delhi has
worked closely with the Sri Lankan Government in rehabilitation and
resettlement of the displaced persons.
“I discussed recent developments, bilateral relations and areas of
common concern. I was also briefed on the steps being taken by the Sri
Lanka Government on political reconciliation and settlement. While this
is a Sri Lankan issue and something that Sri Lanka has to do, we will
continue to remain engaged with all concerned and offer any support
needed in this regard,” he told the media.
Menon said the issue of fishermen too was discussed. “We agreed that
fishermen’s associations on both sides, which had met in the past and
reached some understanding, needed to meet again to work on developing
this further. This could then serve as the basis for finding a solution
to this humanitarian issue,” he said.