Modi raises reconciliation process, fishermen issues with Rajapaksa

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday held a meeting with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa during which he pitched for an early reconciliation process to meet the aspirations of Tamil community in Lanka and discussed other key issues including fishermen.

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday held a meeting with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa during which he pitched for an early reconciliation process to meet the aspirations of Tamil community in Lanka and discussed other key issues including fishermen.

In a bilateral meeting that lasted for nearly 30 minutes, Modi said "early and full implementation" of the 13th Amendment and going beyond that would contribute to the process of national reconciliation in that country.

The 13th Amendment introduced provincial councils with specified powers based on the provisions of the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord of 1987.
"He (Modi) requested the government of Sri Lanka to expedite the process of national reconciliation in a manner that meets the aspirations of the Tamil community for a life of equality, justice, peace and dignity in a united Sri Lanka," Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh said.

Singh said all SAARC leaders, including Rajapaksa, extended invitation to Modi to visit their countries.

In his meeting, Modi also noted that India valued its relations with Sri Lanka as the leaders reiterated their desire to further strengthen bilateral relations.

"They also discussed the fishermen`s issue, India`s development assistance programme and economic and commercial cooperation," Singh said.
She said both the leaders agreed that there was a need for a long-term solution to the fishermen issue as it is a "livelihood issue".

The Prime Minister expressed interest in early launch of the 500 MW Sampur Coal Power project and greater connectivity between the two countries, she added.

Asked whether the protest to his visit by certain parites in Tamil Nadu figured in the meeting, she said no.

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