New Delhi and Colombo also inked agreements, relating to combating international terrorism, drug trafficking, illegal trafficking in persons and double taxation avoidance.Earlier, Sri Lankan Navy shot dead Indian fishermen, arrested them and seized their trawlers for allegedly fishing inside the country’s maritime area, leading to tension between the two countries. India, which once wielded undisputed leverage over the Sri Lankan conflict, maintained a largely hands-off approach because of the concerns of Tamils at home. Earlier on Tuesday Foreign Minister G. L Peiris met Khurshid and said the Sri Lanka government had given clear instructions to the Navy not to open fire and that was being scrupulously observed. The Indian External Affairs Ministry said at the meeting between Mrs. Kumaratunga and the Indian Foreign Minister both sides discussed various bilateral issues. In their meeting, both leaders had placed great emphasis on the safety of the fishermen and the need to ensure that violence was not resorted to under any circumstances.India also urged its southern neighbour to continue dialogue with its Tamil population representatives and hoped that for devolution of power to them.India had agreed to invest $100 million in Sri Lanka to help war refugees return home and rebuild the country’s ravaged north, as New Delhi seeks to engage in the island nation’s post-war reconstruction and retain influence. Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga has met India’s Foreign Minister, Salman Khurshid in New Delhi, the Indian External Affairs Ministry said.The meeting had taken place on Wednesday, a day after the Indian Foreign Minister Sri Lankan Foreign Minister G.L Peiris. The Indian government faced pressure to protect Sri Lankan Tamils, closely linked to about 60 million Tamils in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.New Delhi is keen to ensure that it retains influence in the island and keeps rivals China and Pakistan at arm’s length. (Agencies)
Briefing journalists in New York, Stéphane Dujarric, the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, said that, Mr. de Mistura also received the envoy of the Syrian National Coalition of Opposition and Revolutionary Forces, Haitham al-Maleh, who delivered a letter from the Coalition explaining and elaborating his Organization’s position on the way to resolve the conflict in Syria. According to Mr. Dujarric, the Special Envoy encouraged continued contribution by the Coalition to the Geneva consultations and also discussed perspectives on a political solution to the Syrian conflict with Syrian activist Samir Al-Taqi, currently the General Director of the Orient Research Centre in Dubai.At the end of the day’s meetings, Mr. de Mistura said the rich discussions with Syrian and international interlocutors were another stark reminder of a shared sense of urgency to help Syrian people reach a political solution to the end the conflict.The talks are aimed to bolster implementation of the Geneva Communiqué, which was adopted after the first international meeting on the issue on 30 June 2012, and since endorsed by the UN Security Council.The document lays out key steps in a process to end the violence. Among others, it calls for the establishment of a transitional governing body, with full executive powers and made up by members of the present Government and the opposition and other groups, as part of agreed principles and guidelines for a Syrian-led political transition.