Mathai to visit Sri LankaOctober 5th, 2011 - 9:54 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Oct 5 (IANS) Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai goes Saturday to Colombo to convey India’s pledge to help Sri Lanka rebuild its war-ravaged region and rehabilitate those displaced by years of conflict.
Mathai could also gently push Colombo into reaching a political solution that provides a “just and fair deal to Tamils” after a quarter century of armed conflict, informed sources said Wednesday.
During his three-day visit, he is expected to call on President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
He would meet opposition leader Ranil Wickremasinghe and representatives of the Tamil National Alliance to hear their views on mobilising political consensus on resolving ethnic issues.
India has consistently conveyed to Colombo the need to take concrete steps for “genuine national reconciliation”, acceptable to all the communities including the Tamils.
Mathai will hold wide-ranging talks on bilateral relations and regional and global issues with his Sri Lankan counterpart Karunatillake Amunugama.
“He will review developmental projects taken up in various parts of northern Sri Lanka under (Indian) government assistance,” the external affairs ministry said.
He would review the progress made during the meeting of the 4th India-Sri Lanka Joint Working Group (JWG) on fisheries.
After the Tamil Tigers were crushed in May 2009, India launched humanitarian operations for displaced Tamils and pledged over $1 billion to rebuild transport infrastructure and capacity building.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced in June 2009 a Rs.500 crore (around $120 million) grant for relief, rehabilitation and resettlement work in Sri Lanka.
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