Top-level Indo-Lanka talks soon

The second round of top-level consultations between Sri Lanka and India since the military defeat of Tiger guerrillas will get under way in New Delhi soon.

This is when a three-member delegation comprising Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunga, Senior Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa leaves for New Delhi.

Lalith Weeratunga, Basil Rajapaksa and Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

Consultations between Colombo and New Delhi for dates within the coming two weeks are now under way, the Sunday Times learns.

The delegation is to brief Indian leaders and senior officials on a variety of issues. Main among them are measures taken to re-settle Internally Dislaced People, political proposals to address Tamil grievances, the prevailing security and political situation. The delegation is also to thank India for its willingness to respond to Sri Lanka’s security needs when situations arose.

This is the second time the three-member delegation is visiting New Delhi since the defeat of Tiger guerrillas. The first took place in June, this year. Then, the delegation assured Indian authorities that the Government planned to implement a proposal which was an enhancement of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

Among those the delegation is scheduled to meet are Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna, National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar.

President Rajapaksa stepped on Indian soil for the first time since the military defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam yesterday. This was on a private visit to take part in religious ceremonies in a well-known temple in Tirupathi in the state of Andhra Pradesh. This was during his return from a visit to Nepal. The Government of India had assigned a heavy security detail for his protection.

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