India ready to assist NE if welcomed - Sen
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 25 May 2004, 13:05 GMT]
"Our rehabilitation and assistance is for the people of Sri Lanka irrespective of where they live, whether in the South, Upcountry areas or in the cleared or uncleared areas of the North East. There is no question of Government of India engaging the LTTE, but our public and private sector companies would be happy to work wherever they are welcome," said Mr. Nirupam Sen, Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, at an event held at the Indian Cultural Centre Tuesday, sources said.
Mr. Sen handed over a set of 12 musical instruments to the Society for the Development of Traditional Arts, Nallur, and Jaffna, which were presented by the India-Sri Lanka Foundation.
"The award of these musical instruments is a small token of our interest in and our responsiveness to the people of the North East. Two weeks ago, we presented a mobile library van to the Ramakrishna Mission at Point Pedro. These are but the scurrying clouds of the rains that are to come we would like to offer a comprehensive rehabilitation package from the Government of India to the North East. This would be a part of the Sri Lankan Governments rehabilitation strategy and within the Sri Lankan Government's rehabilitation framework. We would be happy to assist in the rehabilitation of the North East," Mr. Sen said.
He added: “We have been providing assistance to areas in the government controlled territory. No such requests have come from uncleared areas [LTTE-controlled areas]. We are prepared to consider such requests from uncleared areas. However a section of Tamil media and intelligentsia have cast suspicion on our assistance.”
The High Commissioner invited, through the media, "more organizations in Sri Lanka to make use of the instrumentalities that exist for promoting greater cultural, educational, scientific and technological cooperation between the two countries, like the India -Sri Lanka Foundation, the Cultural Exchange Programme, ICCR scholarships and the Indian Cultural Centre."