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Statement by Ambassador Lalit Mansingh at Washington DC seminar on Sri Lanka Peace Process

Washington, DC
April 14, 2003

India is pleased to participate in this seminar on Sri Lanka at the invitation of the Deputy Secretary of State Mr Richard Armitage. The information provided by the speakers this morning on the devastation caused by the conflict in Sri Lanka and the felt needs of its people will be useful to the international community in the massive task of rebuilding the society and economy.

India is committed to the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka. We support the actions taken by the government of Sri Lanka towards a negotiated peace that satisfies the just aspirations of all the communities in Sri Lanka.

We have been kept briefed by all the Sri Lankan parties. We welcomed H.E the President of Sri Lanka on a visit to New Delhi last week. H.E. the Sri Lankan Prime Minister has been in India last month. On both occasions interaction at the highest level enhanced the close understanding and friendship between our two countries.

India has an important bilateral aid programme totaling US dollars 200 million, including several credit lines. Our assistance is used for obtaining a wide spectrum of capital goods, consumer items and the provision of services in the fields of health and education. This programme is intended to cover all parts of the island nation and impact the socio-economic condition of all the communities that live there.

We wish all success to these deliberations and the efforts of the international community represented here to assist Sri Lanka’s efforts to rebuild and reclaim its society.

For more information, contact:
Sunil Lal, Counsellor (Press & Information) at (202) 939-7042