British, French FMs meet President
President Mahinda Rajapaksa told visiting UK Foreign and Commonwealth
Affairs Secretary of State David Miliband that the humanitarian
operation to free innocent Tamil civilians held hostage by the LTTE
would continue unabated.
He also told him that strict instructions have been given by him to
the Security Forces to ensure that no civilian would be harmed in any
way in conducting the operation.
The President said so when he met the UK Minister together with
French Foreign and European Affairs Minister Dr. Bernard Kouchner at
Embilipitiya yesterday evening.
During the discussions which were held in a cordial atmosphere
centred round present developments in the North.
The President also informed the visiting Ministers that the LTTE has
not allowed any development activity to take place in the North during
the last three decades and that the Government has decided to implement
a vigorous development drive there. He also called for support of the
international community for rehabilitation and reconstruction in the
French Minister Dr. Kouchner expressed his appreciation of the
Government’s program of liberating the northern people from terrorism
and promised his government’s support for welfare programs for the IDPs.
Earlier the two visitors visited IDP welfare centres in Vavuniya and the
Field Hospital donated by the French government in Chettikulam. They
also held discussions with Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services
Minister Rishard Bathiudeen, Vavuniya Government Agent Ms. Charles and
Competent Authority Major General W. A. Chandrasiri.