Swaraj briefs Manmohan on Lankan visit

The leader of the Indian Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj met Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and briefed him on the discussions she had in Sri Lanka, the Press Trust of India reported this evening.Swaraj called on Singh to apprise him of the details of the 12-member delegation’s visit to Sri Lanka. National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon and Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai were present during the meeting. Swaraj said the delegation met the women and children living in the camp as the men were away at work. She said the rehabilitation efforts were good and ahead of schedule. “I would say I am satisfied with our visit to Sri Lanka,” the BJP leader told reporters today. The delegation met representatives of all political parties in Sri Lanka and visited the rehabilitation camp for Tamils. “We discussed the withdrawal of army from civic life. They come to birthday parties uninvited or enter temples. We also discussed the 13th Amendment,” she said. There are three lakh displaced Tamils in Sri Lanka of which only 3,000 have not been rehabilitated.Swaraj also had a one-on-one breakfast meeting with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksha. read more

In Costa Rica Annan meets top officials visits University for Peace

The Secretary-General held a private meeting today in San José with President Miguel Angel Rodríguez Echevarria, according to a spokesman travelling with Mr. Annan. Foreign Minister Roberto Rojas Lopez met the Secretary-General at the airport when he arrived on Friday. During a press encounter there, the Secretary-General was asked about UN efforts in the Middle East. “We are all working very hard to try and pull the parties from the abyss,” he said. “I have also challenged the leaders to lead their people from desperation and despair.” The Secretary-General also voiced hope that recent international efforts, including those by Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah, United States Vice President Dick Cheney and US envoy Anthony Zinni, would yield results. During his visit to the University of Peace just outside San José on Saturday, University Rector Martin Lees thanked the Secretary-General for challenging the institution to revitalize itself. read more