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    Sri Lanka's Tamil party seeks demilitarisation of northern parts

    New Delhi (PTI) With the LTTE having been defeated, a prominent Tamil party of Sri Lanka on Thursday demanded speedy rehabilitation and demilitarisation of northern parts of the country and asked New Delhi to press Colombo to do so.

    A four-member delegation of Tamil National Alliance (TNA), which met External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon here, said a committee should be set up to monitor utilisation of Indian funds by Sri Lanka and that the panel should include a TNA representative.

    The delegation of the pro-LTTE party, led by the party's senior leader R Sampanthan, appreciated the help provided by India in rehabilitation of those displaced by the war.

    "We told the Minister and officials that the entire northern zone should be completely demilitarised before people are resettled there by the end of this year. We also want all the military camps and tents to be removed. If those exist, people cannot live peacefully," TNA MP Mavai Senathirajah, who was part of the delegation, told PTI.

    Mr. Krishna told delegation that India was willing to allot more funds for the rehabilitation of civilians and reconstruction activities in the north, he said.

    Mr. Senathirajah said the TNA was satisfied with India's role in the reconstruction process. "We are satisfied with the Indian Government's action to resettle the Tamil civilians. They have assured us more help."

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