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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 109

India agrees to coordinated patrolling of the Palk Straits

Singapore, 03 June, ( Indian Defence Minister AK Anthony today (2 June 2007) assured Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, that the Indian Government was agreeable to conduct coordinated patrols of the maritime boundary between India and Sri Lanka in the Palk Straits. Modalities for this deployment will be worked out between the two sides.Sri Lanka Foreign Affairs Rohitha Bogollagama met with Indian Defence Minister AK Anthony on 2nd June 2007 in Singapore. Minister Rohitha Bogollagama is in Singapore to attend the 6th Shangri La Dialogue.Sri Lanka Foreign Affairs Rohitha Bogollagama met with Indian Defence Minister AK Anthony on 2nd June 2007 in Singapore. Minister Rohitha Bogollagama is in Singapore to attend the 6th Shangri La Dialogue.

In March 2007, in a letter addressed to the Prime Minister of India, President Mahinda Rajapaksa had proposed such a mechanism in order to prevent attacks on fisherman by the LTTE in the area and the transporting of material supplies to the LTTE. The matter was also taken up for discussion during Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s visit to New Delhi last week.

In a press statement released yesterday by the Sri Lanka’s High Commission in Singapore, it was revealed that the Indian Defence Minister and Minister Bogollagama met on the sidelines of the 6th Annual IISS Asian Security Summit – The Shangri-La Dialogue, that is currently taking place in Singapore.

“Minister Bogollagama is leading the Sri Lankan delegation to this meeting attended by Government representative from 25 countries and legislators, experts, academics and business people from the Asia-Pacific region and key outside powers.

According to the press statement, “During the meeting, the two Ministers discussed current developments in restoring normalcy in the East, as well as in the Jaffna Peninsula. The Indian Government said that it will resume construction of the Kankesanthurai harbour following Minister Bogollagama informing that the security situation in the Peninsula had improved considerably. The Minister said that the development of the harbour to its full potential will facilitate the transport of supplies to the Jaffna Peninsula, including directly from India.

“The two sides also discussed developments that had arisen since the recent air attacks by the LTTE. The Indian Defence Minister assured that his government will continue to strengthen Sri Lanka’s air defence capability and noted that an Indian team was currently in Sri Lanka for this purpose.

“Minister Bogollagama also referred to recent reports appearing in the media on comments made regarding arms purchases by Sri Lanka. Minister Anthony said India appreciated Sri Lanka being transparent in the purchasing of its defence equipment.

“The Foreign Minister also briefed Minister Anthony on the present status of negotiations at evolving a southern consensus for the settlement of the present conflict. He observed that the All Party Representative Committee (APRC) was presently working on developing a consensus proposal for this purpose, taking into account concerns expressed by all parties.

“Earlier today, Minister Bogollagama held a meeting with the British Minister for Armed Forces Adam Ingram. Minister Ingram appreciated the efforts being made by the Government to counter the terrorist threat posed by the LTTE. Minister Ingram who had previously been the Secretary for Northern Ireland supported the British endorsement of the search for a political settlement should be found to resolve such problem.

“Referring to the recent British House of Commons debate on Sri Lanka, Minister Bogollagama told the British Minister that regrettably many who spoke failed to appreciate the complexities of the Sri Lankan situation had not been taken cognizance of by most Members. Minister Ingram said he would personally appraise Members on the recently formed group of Sri Lanka’s perspective on the issue, and encouraged that the Government of Sri Lanka does so as well.

According to the press statement released by the Sri Lanka High Commission in Singapore, Foreign Secretary Palitha Kohona, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaska, Chief of Defence Staff Air Chief Marshall Donald Perera and the Foreign Ministry’s Director General/Public Communications Ravinatha Aryasinha and Director General/East Asia and Pacific Ahmed Jawad were associated with the Minister at these meetings.

- Asian Tribune -

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