Indian foreign secretary meets Sri Lankan Prez



Colombo: Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai met Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa ahead of touring the former war zone in the northern part of the island nation, officials said here on Monday.

Mathai, who arrived in Sri Lanka on Saturday on a three-day official visit, called on Rajapaksa to discuss issues of mutual concern, Xinhua reported.

Though it was not immediately known as to what transpired between the two, but analysts believe the Sri Lankan government's political reconciliation with the Tamil minority and the conflict between the Sri Lankan Navy and Indian fishermen were on the agenda.

Mathai also visited the northern former war zone to review the progress of developmental projects under India's assistance.

He inspected Kankasanthurai Harbor development project and the scheme for constructing 50,000 houses funded by the Indian government.

Mathai discussed with Sri Lankan officials the sensitive issue of fishermen from both countries crossing each other's territorial waters.

Indian fishermen accuse the Sri Lanka Navy and fishermen of attacking them while Sri Lankan fishermen accuse their Indian counterparts of stealing their livelihood.

Mathai is also scheduled to meet with other political leaders, including Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe and representatives of Sri Lanka's major Tamil party, Tamil National Alliance before his departure.

IANS