Indian Prime Minister to meet Sri Lankan President at SAARC Summit

Nov 09, Addu City: Indian Prime Minister and Sri Lankan President will meet Thursday on the margins of the 17th SAARC summit that is to begin tomorrow in Addu Atoll of Maldives.

According to Indian media, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will meet President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Hotel Shangri La in the Addu Atoll Thursday afternoon to discuss a host of bilateral issues and strengthening regional cooperation.

Among the items to be focused for discussion are, the Sri Lanka’s political process for ethnic reconciliation resettlement of displaced Tamils still remaining in camps and the fishermen’s issue.

The two leaders will also discuss the progress of India-assisted projects in Sri Lanka, especially, in the North where the Indian government has undertaken a pilot project to build 1,000 houses to resettle the displaced Tamil people. Following the successful implementation of the Pilot Project arrangements will be finalized between the two governments to construct the remaining 49,000 houses of the project that is slated to build 50,000 houses altogether.

The Indian government has also pledged a grant of around $110 million for relief, rehabilitation and resettlement work in Sri Lanka.

Before the Prime Minister’s departure to Maldives, India has said that Sri Lanka has responded positively to India’s call for genuine national reconciliation and is showing progress in the political dialogue with the main Tamil party in the country, Tamil National Alliance (TNA).

Since the end of the war in May 2009 India has been urging Sri Lanka to take concrete steps for a lasting political settlement with the minority in the country.

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