Indian delegation hold talks in Sri Lanka

A visiting Indian parliamentary delegation held talks in Colombo on Tuesday to assess the post war situation in the country, the Sri Lankan External Affairs Ministry said.

The delegation led by the Indian opposition leader in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj met the External Affairs Minister G.L Peiris as well as the Economic Affairs Minister Basil Rajapaksa.

“The Indian delegation was briefed on the rehabilitation and reconstruction work in the north and east as well as other post war developments,” an External Affairs Ministry official said.

The delegation also visited the Sri Lankan parliament and met the Deputy Speaker of parliament as well as other government officials.

The External Affairs Ministry said that on Tuesday the delegation is scheduled to travel to the former war affected areas in the north of the country.

Officials said that in the north the Indian parliamentary delegation will get a firsthand look at some of the projects undertaken by India to help the Tamils in the country.

The delegation is scheduled to visit other parts of the country as well and hold talks with Sri Lankan opposition members including members of the Tamil National Alliance, a key Tamil political party in Sri Lanka.

The delegation, which consists of members from India’s ruling Congress party, the BJP, CPM, SP, BJD and JD(U) will also meet Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa during their six day tour to the country.

Two major political parties from Tamil Nadu, the AIADMK and DMK, withdrew from the delegation at the last minute as they felt the visit will merely be a sightseeing tour.

The AIDMK led by Jayalalitha Jeyaram and DMK led by M. Karunanidhi, have been calling on the Indian government to act on human rights concerns in Sri Lanka.