Lanka completes rehabilitation of displaced Tamils



Gurgaon: Sri Lanka on Friday told India it has completed the process of rehabilitating 296,000 Tamils displaced by the civil war and said it was fast-tracking political reconciliation in the island nation.

Foreign Minister GL Peiris also told his Indian counterpart Salman Khurshid that de-mining process had been largely completed in the north, the former war theatre.

The foreign ministers held wide-ranging talks on the sidelines of the ministerial meeting of the 19-member Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation here.

During the talks, Peiris stressed that Sri Lanka saw India as an indispensable partner.

Assuring India of Colombo's commitment to find an enduring political solution to the ethnic issue, Peiris pointed out that the economic growth in Tamil-dominated Jaffna had soared around 22 percent last year.

But he also admitted that the Sri Lankan government was having "some difficulties" in implementing some of the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission like those relatf to land.

Khurshid urged his Sri Lankan counterpart to fast-track the release of five Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan custody so that it does not remain an irritant in bilateral ties.

IANS