President holds cordial talks with Indian visitors
A High level Indian delegation comprising Indian National Security
Advisor M.K. Narayanan and Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon called
on President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Temple Trees yesterday (24).
President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Indian officials held cordial
discussions over lunch on matters of mutual interest to both countries.
During this meeting which lasted for about two hours, President
Rajapaksa explained to the Indian visitors the success of the
humanitarian operation to rescue the civilians held hostage by the LTTE
in the Vanni.
He described how the Security Forces were able to rescue over 106,000
civilians with no harm to any one of them, thus proving wrong foreign
commentators who predicted a bloodbath.
He also informed the visitors about the relief and welfare measures
taken by the Government to look after the needs of the huge influx of
civilians that have crossed over to Government controlled areas.
The Indian side explained to the President the developments in India
at present and expressed their concern about civilian welfare while
appreciating the measures already taken by the Government to address
Indian High Commissioner Alok Prasad, Secretary to President Lalith
Weeratunga and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa were also present
at this meeting.
The Daily News understands that the President has extended an
invitation to the Indian visitors to visit the Vanni and observe the
progress of the rescue mission and the facilities provided to the
However, the Indian side expressed their inability to accede to the
President’s request on account of time constraints.