President heading to India

16 May 2010 11:10 am - 6     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


President Mahinda Rajapaksa will visit India on June 8. This was announced after a meeting between Indian External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna and Minister G. L. Peiris on the sidelines of the G15 summit in Tehran today

Rehabilitation and resettlement of Tamil civilians displaced by the civil war came up for discussions when External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna met his Sri Lankan counterpart G. L. Peiris Sunday.

After the meeting, it was announced that Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa would visit India on June 8, his first after his re-election in January this year.

“The visit is planned for June 8,” Mr. Krishna said after the meeting. Mr. Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had last met in Thimphu on the sidelines of the SAARC Summit. The two Ministers also discussed about the Sri Lankan President’s visit.

Mr. Krishna and Mr. Peiris, who are in Iran for the G15 Summit, met for over 30 minutes and discussed the progress in reconstruction of war—torn areas in the island’s north as well as the resettlement of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

The two sides agreed that the displaced should be expeditiously rehabilitated with dignity and some source of livelihood, an Indian official said after the meeting.

They also spoke of “productive and constructive phase” with the return of peace in Sri Lanka and quickly launching process of consolidation and reconstruction.

The two sides are also believed to have discussed political settlement that ensures a sense of participation and equity among the ethnic groups. Mr. Krishna is also understood to have enquired about the progress in the resettlement of IDPs in northern parts of the country.

“All groups need to be consulted,” the official said.

During the meeting, India expressed its desire that since normalcy had returned, the pace of reconstruction needs to be accelerated, the official said.

This is the second meeting between Mr. Krishna and Mr. Peiris in 20 days. The two had earlier met in Thimphu during the SAARC Summit.

“We had a very good meeting and exchange of views on bilateral relations...India is looking forward to Mr. Rajapaksa’s visit in the second week of June,” the official said.

“India will be very happy to work with Sri Lanka in the reconstruction process,” he said.

The Sri Lankan Foreign Minister “spoke of the desire of Sri Lankan Government and the President Mr. Rajapaksa to consolidate on the peace process,” the official said.

“The (Sri Lankan) Foreign Minister hoped that all sides should be pragmatic and flexible so as to move ahead” on the peace process.

Mr. Peiris mentioned of 1.8 million Sri Lankans, largely Tamils, living abroad. “He said India had large expat population and his Government wanted to share experience with India on how to engage more closely with expats.”  “Both sides exchanged notes on the peace process,” he said.  (PTI)

  Comments - 6

  • Monday, 17 May 2010 07:38 AM

    Wimal has already made it known public that he is against Indian interference and will launch a struggle within the government to counter those, along with the JHU. It will be interesting to watch the classic battle of David vs. Goliath. Whatever it is, we are lucky in this country that politicians always provide us with free entertainment.

    Sunday, 16 May 2010 12:38 PM

    Over to you Mr.Wimal Weerawanse!

    Sunday, 16 May 2010 02:21 PM

    in the view of SL govt, there is no peace process, war is over, and peace now, why do we need peace process anymore??

    Sunday, 16 May 2010 03:47 PM

    Money money money!!

    Sunday, 16 May 2010 04:52 PM

    it is contradictory to note that india on what terms expects sri lanka on the poltical settlement and resettlement of tamils, while sri lanka is already settling sinhalese in tamils properties in the north and east and saying there is no political solution for tamils problem ?

    Monday, 17 May 2010 03:35 AM

    keep eating our tax money...

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