Indian parliamentary delegation arrives in Sri Lanka

(PTI) A multi-party Indian delegation arrived in Colombo on Monday night on a six-day visit to Sri Lanka during which they will press for a political solution to the decades-old Tamil question and oversee developmental projects by India in the areas worst affected by the civil war.

The delegation led by Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj will camp in this island nation till Saturday and meet with President Mahinda Rajapaksa and a cross-section of political leaders during the visit.

The 13-member delegation, from which DMK and AIADMK pulled out at the last minute, will visit northern and eastern Sri Lanka, which bore the brunt of three decades of bloodshed, besides making a visit to central and southern parts of the island.

The delegation, that has members from Congress, BJP, CPM, SP, BJD and JD(U), would press for a political solution to the Tamil question during its meetings with Rajapaksa and other leaders.

The MPs, five of whom are from Tamil Nadu where the Sri Lankan Tamils issue is emotive, will also hold talks with leaders of the Tamil National Alliance, which has emerged as a credible political force of the minority community, and the Sri Lankan Muslim Congress to get their views on the issue.

During its visit to Mullaitivu on Wednesday, once the nerve-centre of LTTE’s military operations, the delegation will hand over medical equipment to hospitals, newly-built houses to beneficiaries and distribute bicycles to needy Tamils.

“The primary focus of the delegation will, however, be in the areas recovering from thirty years of conflict in the North and East of Sri Lanka where development assistance projects for the resettlement and rehabilitation of IDPs and reconstruction of areas affected by the conflict are being undertaken by India,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in New Delhi.(PTI)

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