India, Sri Lanka agree:
Time opportune for rehabilitation, resettlement, re-conciliation
India and Sri Lanka agreed that with the end of military operations
in Sri Lanka, the time was opportune to focus attention on issues of
relief, rehabilitation, resettlement and re- conciliation including a
permanent political solution in Sri Lanka.
This follows discussions held by visiting Indian Foreign Secretary
Shivshankar Menon and Indian National Security Advisor M K Narayanan
with President Mahinda Rajapaksa and senior officials, including Senior
Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa MP, Secretary to the President
Lalith Weeratunga and Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
Following their agreement of October 26, 2008, both sides have been
co-operating in providing humanitarian relief and assistance to IDPs in
This includes medical assistance in the form of a field hospital,
urgently needed medicines and medical supplies as well as food, clothing
and shelter material.
Both sides emphasized the urgent need to resettle the IDPs in their
villages and towns of habitation and to provide to them basic and civil
infrastructure as well as means of livelihood to resume their normal
lives at the earliest possible.
To this end, the Government of Sri Lanka indicated that it was their
intention to dismantle the welfare villages at the earliest and outlined
a 180 day plan to re-settle the bulk of IDPs to their original places of
The Government of India committed to provide all possible assistance
in the implementation of such a plan in areas such as de-mining,
provision of civil infrastructure and re-construction of houses. All
these activities will be implemented in close consultation and
co-operation with the Government of Sri Lanka.
Both sides also emphasized the urgent necessity of arriving at a
lasting political settlement in Sri Lanka. To this, the Government of
Sri Lanka indicated that it will proceed with implementation of the 13th
Further, the Government of Sri Lanka also intends to begin a broader
dialogue with all parties, including the Tamil parties, in the new
circumstances, for further enhancement of political arrangements to
bring about lasting peace and reconciliation in Sri Lanka.