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Pranab calls up Lankan President

Source: PTI
Last updated on: May 18, 2009 19:00 IST
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India on Monday asked Sri Lanka to take political steps to ensure 'effective devolution of power' so that Tamils in the island nation could live with dignity.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee spoke to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who confirmed that the armed resistance by the LTTE has come to an end and Prabhakaran was dead.

In a statement later, the External Affairs Ministry said, "It is our view that as the conventional conflict in Sri Lanka comes to an end, this is the moment when the root cause of the conflict in Sri Lanka can be addressed. This would include political steps towards the effective devolution of power within the Sri Lankan Constitution so that Sri Lankans of all communities, including the Tamils, can feel at home and lead lives of dignity of their own free will."

Earlier, the Congress said the Sri Lankan issue is a sensitive one and Mukherjee will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to discuss the matter.

"Sri Lanka is a sensitive issue, our foreign minister is meeting the prime minister. The government of India will contact the Sri Lankan government to ascertain the facts," All India Congress Committee general secretary Janardan Dwivedi told reporters.

Meanwhile, central security agencies have sounded an alert in Tamil Nadu, even as intelligence inputs suggest that cadre of the outfit may try to create disturbance. Security for Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her children Rahul and Priyanka was further tightened as they were already on the hit list of the terror outfit.

An alert has also been sounded in neighbouring Kerala and coastal Andhra Pradesh, to keep a watch on the coastlines as LTTE cadre, facing the wrath of Sri Lankan army, may make fresh attempts to slip in, official sources said.

The intelligence inputs also suggested that some desperate LTTE ultras may flee the war zone in the guise of refugees and land up in India. "The possible influx of suicide bombers cannot be ruled out, especially in the wake of sympathisers who may provide them refuge here," a senior official of the Home Ministry said.

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