India-Lanka hail excellent ties
President briefs Indian PM on search for settlement,
battle against terror:
Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has commended the excellent
relations between India and Sri Lanka during an hour-long meeting with
President Mahinda Rajapaksa in New Delhi.
President Rajapaksa was on an official visit to India and addressed
the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit on Saturday.
Both leaders observed that it was necessary to keep working to ensure
continued good relations and understanding between the two countries on
At the meeting with Dr. Singh at the Prime Minister’s official
residence, there was a warm exchange of views on the present state of
Indo-Sri Lanka relations and current development impacting on these
relations between the two countries, the President’s Office said.
President Rajapaksa told the Indian Premier of the situation in Sri
Lanka, especially with regard to the search for a political solution to
the ethnic issue and the battle against terrorism.
The Indian leader was also briefed on the Government’s programme for
development of the Eastern Province for economic progress and the
advance of democracy.
The Indian Prime Minister said India was ready to strengthen the
links between the two countries and build on the multi-faceted nature of
He also referred to continued understanding and cooperation between
Sri Lanka and India on matters of security and political affairs.
In his inaugural address to the Leadership Summit Prime Minister
Singh said: “Let there be no mistake about our resolve to meet the
challenges the challenge of terrorism head on... We have to mobilize all
our resources and will power for continued defeat of the terrorist
At the meeting with Congress Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, the
discussions were centred on the new developments in the Eastern Province
and efforts to defeat terrorism in the country.
The Congress leader was apprised of the new development programme in
areas cleared of the LTTE and the moves taken to make the East a model
for development of a hitherto politically disadvantaged region.
Gandhi said it was encouraging to know of the steps being taken to
obtain a political solution to the crisis in Sri Lanka, and of the loss
of a recruiting base for the LTTE in the East, particularly the
recruitment of child soldiers. She stressed on the need to strengthen to
good relations between the two countries.
Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, Secretary to the President
Lalith Weeratunga, Foreign Secretary Palitha Kohona, and High
Commissioner Romesh Jayasinghe and India’s National Security Advisor M.
K. Narayan and External Affairs Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon were
present at President Rajapaksa’s meeting with Dr. Singh.
Foreign Minister Bogollagama, Secretary to the President and the
Foreign Secretary were associated with the President during discussions