Indian Parliamentary delegation meets SL ministers
Colombo: India on Tuesday said it respected Sri Lanka's territorial integrity and was looking forward to stronger bilateral ties, as a parliamentary delegation from the country met leaders of the island nation and discussed issues like resettlement of the internally-displaced Tamils.
The 12-member Indian delegation headed by the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, currently on a six-day visit to the island nation, held talks with Minister of External Affairs GL Peiris and Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa.
During the meeting with Basil Rajapaksa, Swaraj said that India respected Sri Lanka's territorial integrity and was looking forward to stronger bilateral ties, the Sri Lankan Economic Development Minister's office said.
Rajapaksa told the Indian team about the progress made on the resettlement of the internally displaced people (IDPs).
Sri Lanka was able to resettle 95 per cent of the IDPs, except those who had fled to India and other countries.
The Sri Lankan government has rebuilt houses for the displaced while the work on the 50,000 permanent houses funded by India is progressing. The IDPs are also provided with cash grants resettlement kits and six months dry food rations which has now been extended for further two years.
Rajapaksa also outlined infrastructure development such as roads, railway lines, harbours and airports and the restoration of livelihoods.
Sri Lanka was able to bring normalcy to conflict-affected areas within a short period of time, he stressed and suggested that the Indian delegation visit Kilinochchi, the former LTTE administrative capital, and observe for themselves the post-conflict changes taking place there.
The Indian delegation visited the Sri Lanka Parliamentary complex to meet an all-party representatives group before calling on Peiris and Basil Rajapaksa.
The Indian MPs' delegation would also meet Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and leaders of the main Tamil minority party, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA).
It is due to tour Mullaithivu in the north, which was once an LTTE nerve center.