Rajapaksa, Manmohan to meet for talks

September 20th, 2012 - 6:47 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi/Bhopal, Sep 20 (IANS) India Thursday will press Sri Lanka to speed up an inclusive solution to the decades-long ethnic issue when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh meets President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Rajapaksa began a three-day visit to India Wednesday night. He has been invited by the Madhya Pradesh government for the foundation stone-laying ceremony of the University of Buddhist and Indic Studies in Sanchi.

His visit comes amid anger in sections in Tamil Nadu about the alleged persecution of Sri Lankan Tamils during the last phase of the war with the LTTE that ended in May 2009.

Manmohan Singh will meet Rajapaksa at his 7, Race Course Road for wide-ranging talks and host a dinner for the visiting leader.

India is expected to press Colombo to fast-track the rehabilitation of war-displaced Tamils in Sri Lanka and urge it to apeed up a lasting solution to the ethnic issue, said informed sources.

Rajapaksa will also meet President Pranab Mukherjee.

In Madhya Pradesh, around half-a-dozen supporters of MDMK protesting the visit of Rajapaksa were detained at Salamatpur near Sanchi, police said Thursday.

MDMK general secretary Vaiko, who arrived in Nagpur with over 1,000 supporters on way to Sanchi, Wednesday attacked the central government and the BJP-led Madhya Pradesh government for inviting Rajapaksa.

In March, India voted for a US-backed resolution on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. India said it was aimed at speeding up the reconciliation process in the island nation.

India has voiced disappointment over the slow pace of reconciliation in Sri Lanka and the lack of progress in implementing the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, a panel Colombo set up to probe charges of human rights violations.

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