Sri Lanka's Tamil leaders in Delhi for talks

Last Updated: Wed, Oct 10, 2012 15:03 hrs

Leaders of Sri Lanka's Tamil National Alliance arrived here on Wednesday for talks with the top leadership here as part of India's continuing engagement with the government and political parties of that country over the process of reconciliation and meaningful devolution.

A seven-member delegation headed by TNA Parliamentary Party leader R Sampanthan will be here till Saturday during which they will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and apprise them about the current situation.

"The visit is part of our continuing engagement with the government and political parties in Sri Lanka in regard to the process of reconciliation and meaningful devolution through which Sri Lanka seeks to secure for all its citizens a future marked by equality, dignity, justice and self-respect," MEA spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said.

The delegation, which is here on an invitation from Krishna, will exchange views with National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon and Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai, besides meeting Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj.

Akbaruddin said India has been involved in a substantial manner in rehabilitation and resettlement efforts of Internally Displaced Persons and the reconstruction process in Northern Sri Lanka.

"It has been widely acknowledged that our assistance in Sri Lanka in the areas of housing, de-mining, education, public health and connectivity has helped restore a degree of normalcy in the area," he added.

The high-level visit has raised hopes in Sri Lanka that India would nudge TNA to join the proposed Parliamentary Select Committee to thrash out a political solution to the conflict that ended in 2009.

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