Krishna to visit Sri Lanka next week

S M Krishna will undertake a three-day official visit to Sri Lanka next week and is likely to discuss IDPs issue.

Colombo: External Affairs Minister S M
Krishna will undertake a three-day official visit to Sri Lanka
next week during which he is expected to discuss the issue of
rehabilitation of the war-displaced Tamils and open two new
consulates in the country.

After the conflict led by the LTTE ended last year,
India has maintained that the military intervention should be
followed by political reconciliation.

India has also pressed for measures to rehabilitate
the nearly three lakh Tamil civilians displaced from the
conflict-ridden areas during the war.

The issue of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)
is likely to be discussed during Krishna`s meetings with the
Sri Lankan leadership.

Indian government had made a commitment to construct
50,000 houses in Sri Lanka for rehabilitation of the IDPs in
Northern and Eastern Sri Lanka during the visit of Sri Lankan
President Mahinda Rajapaksa in June this year.

As part of the commitment, the government last week
signed an agreement with Hindustan Prefab Limited, for
undertaking the construction of 1,000 houses for the IDPs in
Northern Sri Lanka under a pilot project.

Each of the house, measuring 540 square feet, shall be
constructed with locally available material, a statement from
the government said in New Delhi.

Besides, discussing the Tamil issue and other
bilateral issues, Krishna during his visit beginning November
25, will also declare open two Indian consulates in Jaffna and

These will be in addition to the already existing
consulate in Kandy.

Sri Lanka opened its fifth harbour in Hambantota last
Thursday with Chinese assistance.