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Indian envoy holds talks with Tamil leaders

[Express Buzz, Wednesday, 8 July 2009 07:02 No Comment]

Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Alok Prasad on Tuesday began a two-day visit to Jaffna by holding meetings with key officials, Tamil political leaders and the Roman Catholic Bishop.

Sources in Jaffna told The New Indian Express that during his visit to the Jaffna Hospital, Prasad promised to get Indian help to reconstruct parts of the hospital. The envoy’s visit assumes significance in the context of the polls to the Jaffna Municipal Council, the first to be held after the decimation of the LTTE. He met candidates of the leading political parties, including the Tamil National Alliance (TNA).

On Monday, a three-member delegation TNA, the pro-LTTE party, had met Prasad in Colombo and apprised him of the concerns of the TNA in the post-war, post Prabhakaran scenario.

Suresh Premachandran, the TNA MP for Jaffna district, told The New Indian Express that the delegation tried to impress upon Prasad that Lanka was delaying the re-settlement of Tamil war refugees in the districts of Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi.

“The government is citing the existence of a large number mines to delay re-settlement. While some de-mining seems to be going on in Mannar, there is no de-mining work in either Kilinochchi or Mulaitivu,” he said.

He also alleged that the Lankan army was planning to acquire land for bases, to permanently militarise the northern Wanni region. He added that the Indian army had begun de-mining in the Giant Tank area of Mannar district that has been earmaked for resettlement of war refugees.

Presidential polls: Nimal Sripala de Silva, Sri Lanka’s Minister of Health and a senior leader of the ruling United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance told The Island on Tuesday, that President Mahinda Rajapaksa would hold snap Presidential election after he had completes four years in office in November.

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