Indian FM to visit Sri Lanka on Jan 16

Indian External Affairs Minister S M Krishna will leave for Colombo on January 16 on a three-day visit to Sri Lanka during which he will discuss the progress in finding a political solution to the ethnic issue and inaugurate an India-assisted railway project.

Krishna is expected to hold wide-ranging talks with his Sri Lankan counterpart G L Peiris and call on President Mahinda Rajapakse, government sources said in New Delhi yesterday.

He will meet representatives of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and hear their views on the progress in their talks with Colombo over the proposed devolution of powers to the provinces.
Krishna will also discuss the issue of political solution to the decades-old ethnic issue with the Sri Lankan leadership.

He is likely to impress upon Sri Lanka leaders the need to take concrete steps for “genuine national reconciliation” and a lasting political

Although Rajapakse has made it clear that the government will not devolve land and police powers to the regions in line with the 13 amendment to the constitution, his government has indicated that it was ready to discuss the issue and make concessions.

Krishna will also review progress in an India-assisted project for building 50,000 houses in the war-ravaged north for internally-displaced people.

Besides visiting Jaffna and Killinocchi, he will go to Galle to inaugurate the Southern Railway project, which has been renovated with aid of India’s concessional line of credit.
The Indian government has also given line of credit of about $800mn for restoration of Northern Railway lines.