India wants power devolution

India has asked Sri Lanka to devolve power to the Tamil minority in that country in a bid for reconciliation among various communities at the end of the decades-long civil war, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi.

In a letter written to Karunanidhi June 10 that was released to the media today, Manmohan Singh said: 'I have also urged upon Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa the need for reconciliation among communities in Sri Lanka and for practical arrangements, including devolution of powers, to enable all minorities in Sri Lanka, and particularly the Tamil minority, to lead lives of dignity.'

Replying to Karunanidhi's letter dated June 5, Manmohan Singh adds that the issue of internally displaced people in Sri Lanka was raised with Rajapaksa.

'He (Rajapaksa) has assured me that the 47,000 Tamils who are still in camps will be resettled by the end of this year.’

The Sri Lankan President came on a three-day visit to India on June 8.

'We announced a joint initiative to construct 50,000 houses for the internally displaced persons in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. The government of India is separately also working on projects and programmes for resettled families to be in a position to earn their own livelihood,' Manmohan Singh said. (IANS)

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