Sri Lankan president briefs opposition on war with LTTE


Colombo : Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa Friday held talks with leader of the main opposition United National Party (UNP) Ranil Wickremesinghe and briefed him on the situation in the country’s north where fierce fighting is on with the Tamil Tiger rebels, sources said here.

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The meeting was held at Temple Trees, the heavily guarded official residence of the president.

“The president briefed the opposition leader on the humanitarian operations currently being conducted by the security forces in the north and the government’s effort to send in humanitarian supplies for the people in those areas,” an official attached to the president’s office said here.

The meeting between Rajapaksa, who is also the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and the leader of the Opposition took place after repeated expression of concern by neighbouring India over the safety of Tamil civilians caught in the war-zone.

The president has also decided to send his advisor and younger brother Basil Rajapaksa to New Delhi as a “special envoy” to brief the Indian leaders on the situation in the island’s north.

But it is not immediately known whether India’s latest position with regard to Sri Lanka was discussed by the two leaders.

No official statement was released from both sides.

Amid mounting pressure from the radical Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and its break-away faction on the perceived Indian intervention, Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama told parliament Tuesday that “there was no pressure from India or any other country to stop the ongoing fight against the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam)terrorists in the north”.