“We have to live together- must help each other,” PM Modi tells Sri Lanka
Posted on September 28th, 2014

By Janaka Alahapperuma

President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Saturday morning (27 Sep) held talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during which key issues, including bilateral, political and regional, was discussed on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly at the UN Headquarters in New York.
This was the second meeting between the two leaders after Narendra Modi was sworn in on May 26 this year. Both leaders had earlier met in New Delhi after President Rajapaksa travelled to India to attend Prime Minister Modi’s swearing-in ceremony.

In a cordial discussion, the two leaders spoke about a range of matters of mutual interest and agreed to work towards further strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries.

During the discussions, the Indian leader acknowledged the importance of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) process in relation to the recent meeting Prime Minister Modi had with the representatives of the Sri Lanka’s Tamil National Alliance. In his response, President Rajapaksa explained to the Indian premier that the Sri Lankan Government has always been ready to engage in talks with all political parties, including the TNA, for which a mechanism has been established in terms of the PSC.

The President also briefed the Prime Minister on the ways in which the Government is assisting the Northern Province, particularly with the financial resources in the amount of Rs. 1.5 billion that has been made available in this year’s budget and the huge progress has been achieved in the reconstruction, reconciliation, re-building and development process in the North and East Provinces within a short span of time.

On the issue of fishermen, both leaders agreed that the matters must be handled carefully since there are sensitivities among all concerned parties. President Rajapaksa reiterated his concerns about the practice of bottom trawling which is an illegal practice worldwide. The President explained that Sri Lankan fishermen in the North perceive it as unjust if Indian fishermen are permitted to carry out bottom-trawling techniques as the biggest problem while it is banned for Sri Lankan fishermen. The President also noted that bottom- trawling is creating permanent damage to the sea bed and resources in the Indian Ocean. The Prime Minister had also expressed interest in early launch of the 500 MW Sampur coal power project and greater connectivity between the two countries.

President Rajapaksa also thanked Prime Minister Modi for India’s support and constructive initiatives at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva.

In response, Prime Minister Modi replied: We have to live together, so we must help each other”.

Just after emerging from the over 30 minute-long meeting, President Rajapaksa said that meeting was cordial, good and talked about various issues but nothing about expeditious implementation of the 13th Amendment.

Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris, Minister of Irrigation and Water Resources Management Nimal Siripala de Silva, Monitoring MP of the Ministry of External Affairs Sajin de Vass Gunawardena, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs Mrs. Kshenuka Senewiratne, the Deputy Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Major General Shavendra Silva and the members of the Indian delegation were also present.

2 Responses to ““We have to live together- must help each other,” PM Modi tells Sri Lanka”

  1. Ananda-USA Says:

    I have just done I have just done what Shenali recommends in another article: Gone to Jaffna to see for myself, and it is just as Shenali has said!

    I toured the Northern Province, and the former War Zone, by bus with a group of Peradeniya eFac batchmates.
    Jaffna is BOOMING! The entire Northern Province now has a SUPERB ROAD NETWORK that puts the roads in the South to shame! Later, on two separate trips, I also visited Seruwawila near Trinco on a family Buddhist pilgrimage to view recently discovered dhatu, and the Eastern Province coast around Arugam Bay on vacation.

    I spoke to many local Tamil people in the North and East. They have no problems with the Army. In fact they are GLAD THAT THE ARMY is there to prevent the return of the LTTE goons! They complain that TNA operatives are always there threatening them with dire consequences if they do not cooperate with them in elections, claiming that they control the provincial government now and in the future as well, and they had better do as the TNA says if they want to live in the North. The people complain that there is essentially no political opposition to the TNA, and the elections are being won by the TNA by DEFAULT due the ABSENCE of an organized and effective political opposition.

    The North is suffering from the drought, and it is the Army bases that supply them with water using Army bowsers!

    It seems to me that the settlement of Sinhala people under the protection of the Armed Forces is NEEDED to turnaround this situation; it will LIBERATE the local Tamils from the grip of the TNA as well. Ethnic Integration led by the GOSL is ESSENTIAL if this problem is to be solved once and for all.

    BTW, the Armed Forces run several very nice hotels in the North (Thalsevana in KKS, Hammerlien Fort Hotel in Karainagar, Sandy Golf Links Hotel in Trinco and many more) that are not overly expensive to stay at. I patronized all of them, partly to support the Armed Forces.

  2. Ananda-USA Says:

    Lankan Army Keeps Close Watch to Nip LTTE Revival in Bud

    Oct 02 (NIE) KILINOCHCHI- Civilians in the North Sri Lankan Tamil-speaking district of Kilinochchi keep complaining about ubiquitous surveillance by the army and state intelligence agencies, and say that the former “war zone” is today an “open prison”.

    But security forces justify spying on the grounds that it was necessary to prevent the recrudescence of the terrorist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and ensure a peaceful life.

    “What is ‘spying’ for you is ‘being aware’ for us. It is a thin line which divides spying from being aware,” said Major General Sudantha Ranasinghe, commander of the Security Forces, Kilinochchi District.

    Justifying the compulsory presence of military intelligence personnel in civilian functions and meetings, he said: “We do not interfere with the proceedings. We just listen to find out if anyone is promoting terrorism and anti-state activities.”

    The general then produced a book of Tamil poems on the Tamil separatist movement written by a Catholic priest, Fr Anton Stephen, with provocative headings, one of them being ‘Bloody History’.

    A Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP had asked government schools to place this seditious book in their library. The TNA dominates the Northern Provincial Council under which the schools come.

    “The politico tried to put the germ of terrorism in young impressionable minds. We prevented this from happening,” General Ranasinghe said.

    “The army is working for peace and development. It is giving 2,275 scholarships to school students. Forty-five university scholarships are also given, with each beneficiary getting `3,000 per month for four years. And, every month, my soldiers collect `1,30,000 from amongst themselves to pay for the education of local children,” General Ranasinghe said.

    He pointed out that LTTE cadre who had been rehabilitated by the army and released into society have not indulged in any disruptive activity. “Cadre like Appan and Gobi, who were caught trying to revive the LTTE, had not gone through rehab,” the general pointed out.

    Asked about the Tamil National Alliance’s demand that the army quit the North, he said: “If a referendum is held on this, the people will vote for the army to stay because it has ensured a peaceful, crime-free district.”

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