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Nirupama Rao to visit Lanka with political settlement in mind

Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao is expected in Colombo on Saturday evening for a three-day visit to push for a political settlement of the vexed ethnic issue between the Sinhalese and Tamils.

world Updated: Mar 04, 2010 20:27 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis

Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao is expected in Colombo on Saturday evening for a three-day visit to push for a political settlement of the vexed ethnic issue between the Sinhalese and Tamils. She is also expected to urge for the early resettlement of the Tamils displaced in the 26-year-long war between government troops and Tigers, which ended in May, 2009.

Rao, according to a foreign ministry statement here, is coming to Colombo on the invitation of the Sri Lankan government.

Rao had served as the High Commissioner for India in Colombo from 2004-2006.

"During her stay, she will call on President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama and will meet with other senior government personalities,’’ the foreign ministry statement said, adding she is also scheduled to inaugurate the English Language Training Centre in Peradeniya, established with the support of the Government of India.

Rao’s visit comes in the backdrop of External Affairs Minister, SM Krishna, noting in Parliament that India had stressed to the Sri Lankan government ``the necessity" of reaching a political settlement acceptable to all the communities including the Tamils.

"The government is of the view that the conclusion of the military operations in Sri Lanka provides an opportunity to make a new beginning and pursue a lasting political settlement in Sri Lanka,’’ Krishna said in his reply to a written question in the Rajya Sabha.

Krishna added the way forward lies in a peacefully negotiated political settlement within the framework of a united Sri Lanka acceptable to all the communities there, including the Tamils.

"The necessity of reaching a political settlement has been stressed to the Sri Lankan government," he added.