National / World

Indian Delegation Holds Talks in Sri Lanka


Colombo, Apr 17 (IANS): A visiting Indian parliamentary delegation held talks in Colombo 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 Sushma Swaraj, met External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris as well as Economic Development 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 told Xinhua.

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

The external affairs ministry said that Wednesday 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 first hand 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 will also meet Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa during their six-day tour in 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 and DMK have been calling on the Indian government to act on human rights concerns in Sri Lanka.

The visit by the delegation comes close on the heels of India voting against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva last month.

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