Indian External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna will be meeting the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and government officials within the next two weeks, in a move seen as ensuring continuity in talks to finding a political solution to issues in the North.
Mr. Krishna arrives on Monday, January 16. His visit coincides with the next round of talks between the four-member government delegation and the TNA delegation. The talks will take place over three successive days, during which Mr. Krishna will be in the country.
On arrival, Mr. Krishna will meet TNA delegation leader R. Sampanthan, and the following day he will meet President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
The Indian Minister will also visit Jaffna, where he will hand over 45 houses built under an Indian grant to resettle displaced persons. He will then visit Kilinochchi, where he will hand over 10,000 bicycles to residents in the area.
Meanwhile, talks between India and Sri Lanka on fishing issues will likely take place after Mr. Krishna’s visit, a Fisheries Ministry official told the Sunday Times.
On Thursday, the two countries conducted a 20th International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) meeting on board the Indian coastguard ship “Vajra”, on the Indo-Sri Lanka Maritime Boundary Line, off Kankesanthurai.
“The meeting is held every six months to discuss maritime security, as well as fishermen’s problems”, Navy spokesman Commodore Kosala Warnakulasuriya told the Sunday Times.
The Sri Lankan delegation, comprising Sri Lanka Navy and Sri Lanka Coast Guard officials, was headed by Commander Northern Naval Area, Rear-Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne. The Indian delegation, also comprising Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard officials, was headed by Naval Officer in Command at Tamil Nadu, Commodore A. K. Mahadevan.