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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 113

Sri Lanka making arrangements to hold 15th SAARC summit

Asian Tribune: Sri Lanka Bureau

Colombo, 02 July, (Asiantribune.com): Sri Lanka Government is making all the necessary facilities to hold 15th SAARC Conference at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall from July 27 to August 3rd. The Summit where heads of states of all the eight member countries are expected to meet is scheduled to be held for two days, from 02 to 03 August.

As observers of the conference, delegations from Japan, United States, European Union, China, Mauritius, Iraq and South Korea are expected to participate in the eight-nation summit.

In the meantime when asked about the speculation on the possibility of Indian troops taking over the security operations, Lt. Gen. Fonseka said at a press conference that Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would be here with his security contingent. "If there is a requirement of help from the Indian Navy and Air Force for a specific purpose, we would seek help from New Delhi," he said.

Meanwhile, Indian Armed helicopters, bullet-proof vehicles and members of the highly-trained special protection group (SPG) would accompany Prime Minister Manmohan Singh when he reaches Colombo for the 15th SAARC summit in August.

Confirming this, chief of the Sri Lankan armed forces Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka said on Monday that Indian helicopters would be deployed during the meeting of the heads of states on August 2 and 3, the last two days of the summit. "Few of the Indian helicopters will come to assist the SLAF to provide protection during the summit," Fonseka said.

It was further learnt that bullet-proof vehicles would be flown in from India for the Prime Minister during his stay in Colombo. Lt. General Fonseka, who was interacting with Colombo-based foreign correspondents on Monday, added that the Indian PM would bring his own security as per protocol.

Unconfirmed media reports added that the Indian Navy would have presence in Sri Lankan waters to avert any LTTE attack from the sea. And that India would position radars in Colombo to thwart any air attack.

- Asian Tribune -

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