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Tamil issue on Prez, PM agenda

delhi Updated: Jun 09, 2010 00:46 IST
Shekhar Iyer

India will press for a quick resettlement of close to 80,000 displaced Tamils, still in relief camps more than a year after the Sri Lankan army's victory over the LTTE, during talks between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and PM Manmohan Singh on Wednesday.

The two are expected to discuss steps taken for rehabilitation of the Tamils as well as ways to enhance cooperation between India and Sri Lanka. The Lankan President, who arrived here on Tuesday evening, is likely to unveil his political reconciliation plan for the Tamils.

Rajapaksa will be meeting Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj.

Also on the President's agenda is a meeting with a delegation of DMK and Congress MPs from Tamil Nadu who will press him for political resolution of the ethnic issue in that country. Their contention is that he had promised to resettle all 300,000 war-torn persons within six months of defeating the LTTE.

In Chennai, nearly a thousand pro-Tamil activists led by Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) general secretary Vaiko were taken into protective custody on Tuesday when they were about to march to the Sri Lankan deputy high commissioner's office to protest against Rajapaksa's visit.

Vaiko said New Delhi had ignored Tamil sentiments by honouring the "mass murderer of innocent Tamils in Lanka".

"Should you invite a murderer when you refused entry for (slain LTTE leader) Prabhakaran's mother's treatment? Vaiko said, and likened the "killing of Tamils" in Sri Lanka to the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.

(with inputs from Chennai)