India, Sri Lanka discuss plight of Tamil civilians
New Delhi: India and Sri Lanka Thursday held wide-ranging talks here that focused on ongoing efforts by the Sri Lankan government to resettle displaced Tamil civilians and the need for a political solution to the ethnic conflict.
External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna held talks with his Sri Lankan counterpart G.L. Peiris, who arrived here on a four-day visit Wednesday, and discussed a host of bilateral issues.
Peiris briefed Krishna about steps taken by the Sri Lankan government to resettle around 300,000 Tamil civilians displaced in the war against the LTTE, said official sources.
Krishna reiterated India`s position about expediting an enduring political settlement revolving around devolution of powers to minority communities.
These issues would also figure in discussions between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa Friday.
Rajapaksa arrived here Thursday afternoon to attend the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony as the guest of honour.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will host a lunch for Rajapaksa and his delegation, comprising Foreign Minister GL Peiris and Foreign Secretary CR Jayasinghe, at his residence Friday.
Rajapaksa returns to Colombo late Friday afternoon.
Peiris will, however, stay on in India for another day. He will hold talks with Home Minister P. Chidambaram, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma, Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal and National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon.
Peiris will deliver the RK Mishra Memorial Lecture on "Growth, Equity and Security: Constitutional Imperatives for South Asia," at Teen Murti House Friday evening. The lecture has been organised by the Observer Research Foundation, a thinktank.
Peiris will also discuss Krishna`s forthcoming visit to Sri Lanka, likely Oct 27 to 31. Krishna will himself see the progress in rehabilitating displaced civilians.
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