India respects Sri Lanka’s territorial integrity, looking forward to stronger bilateral ties - Mrs. Sushma Swaraj
A 12-member Indian Parliamentary delegation, headed by the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Mrs. Sushma Swaraj, and comprising representatives of several prominent political parties from both houses of Parliament, arrived in Colombo on the evening of 16 April 2012.
The delegation called on Basil Rajapaksa, the Sri Lankan Minister of Economic Development, on 17th morning. They were briefed regarding the reconstruction work undertaken by the Government of Sri Lanka. The Indian delegation thanked Basil Rajapaksa for enabling their visit to the Menik Farm IDP Camp and the resettled area in Puliyankulam. They noted the efforts of the Government of Sri Lanka in the field of rehabilitation and resettlement and underlined the need for progress towards a political settlement.
During the meeting with Mr. Basil Rajapaksa, Ms. Swaraj said that India respected Sri Lanka’s territorial integrity and was looking forward to stronger bilateral ties, the Sri Lankan Economic Development Minister’s office said.
The Indian delegation visited the Sri Lanka Parliamentary complex to meet an all-party representatives group before calling on Peiris and Basil Rajapaksa.
Inj the Sri Lanka Parliament Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, the Leader of the House in the Sri Lankan Parliament, received the delegation thereafter.
The Indian delegation had the opportunity for a wide-ranging interaction with representatives of all major political parties in Sri Lanka. They appreciated the frankness with which a wide array of views were expressed by the Sri Lankan Members of Parliament, which showed the vibrancy of the democratic process in Sri Lanka.
The members of the Indian delegation reaffirmed India’s commitment to Sri Lanka’s unity and prosperity and called for progress in the dialogue for a political settlement.
The delegation met Prof. G.L. Peiris, External Affairs Minister of Sri Lanka, and sought a briefing on the steps being taken to implement the LLRC report, the status of the resettlement and reconstruction process and the efforts towards arriving at a political settlement. Prof. Peiris underlined the range and depth of the India-Sri Lanka relationship and the need for close engagement on a continuing basis. He briefed the delegation in detail on the action being taken by the Government of Sri Lanka for implementation of the LLRC recommendations and the status of the dialogue process with the TNA.
The delegation also interacted with representatives of the TNA and the CWC, in addition to other Tamil and upcountry political parties, and was briefed on their concerns.
- Asian Tribune –