External Affairs Minister S M Krishna will undertake a three-day official visit to Sri Lanka next week during which he is expected to discuss the issue of rehabilitation of the war-displaced Tamils and open two new consulates in the country.
After the conflict led by the LTTE ended last year, India has maintained that the military intervention should be followed by political reconciliation. India has also pressed for measures to rehabilitate the nearly three lakh Tamil civilians displaced from the conflict-ridden areas during the war.
The issue of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) is likely to be discussed during Krishna's meetings with the Sri Lankan leadership. Indian government had made a commitment to construct 50,000 houses in Sri Lanka for rehabilitation of the IDPs in Northern and Eastern Sri Lanka during the visit of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa in June this year.
As part of the commitment, the government last week signed an agreement with Hindustan Prefab Limited, for undertaking the construction of 1,000 houses for the IDPs in Northern Sri Lanka under a pilot project. Each of the house, measuring 540 square feet, shall be constructed with locally available material, a statement from the government said in New Delhi.
Besides, discussing the Tamil issue and other bilateral issues, Krishna during his visit beginning November 25, will also declare open two Indian consulates in Jaffna and Hambantota. These will be in addition to the already existing consulate in Kandy. Sri Lanka opened its fifth harbour in Hambantota last Thursday with Chinese assistance.