India Asks Sri Lanka to Focus on Devolution

New Delhi, Oct 15 (IANS) India Friday urged Sri Lanka to speed up the process of devolution of powers to Tamil-speaking minorities and offered to help in the development of the island nation.

"I did raise the issue of devolution of powers. Now that the parliamentary elections are over, it's time for the government of Sri Lanka to act decisively and win over the Tamil-speaking Sri Lankans so that their concerns and reservations are taken care of," Krishna told reporters here.

He was referring to his discussions with his Sri Lankan counterpart G.L. Peiris Thursday that focused on the plight of Tamil civilians displaced by the war and steps taken by Colombo to expedite a political settlement of the ethnic issue.

"Once it's (devolution) is done, they can embark on development agenda. India will fully assist them in this process," said Krishna, adding that New Delhi hoped that integration will be worked out.

"They (Sri Lanka) agree with this argument. They say their efforts are directed towards it."

Krishna's comments came ahead of a luncheon meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa where these will issues will again figure.

Krishna said Peiris informed him that that only 20,000 out of nearly 300,000 people displaced by the war remained to be resettled.

Peiris also discussed the visit of Krishna to Sri Lanka towards the end of this month to see for himself the progress made in rehabilitating the displaced civilians.


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Title: India Asks Sri Lanka to Focus on Devolution

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