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* Parliamentary delegation reaffirms India's commitment to Sri Lanka's unity, calls for a political settlement
Wed, Apr 18, 2012, 01:41 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 17, Colombo: The visiting Indian parliamentary delegation to Sri Lanka has reaffirmed India's commitment to Sri Lanka's unity and prosperity and called for progress in the dialogue for a political settlement on the ethnic issues with the minority Tamils.

The 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 High Commission of India in Colombo said in a statement.

The delegation called on the Sri Lankan Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa Tuesday and they were briefed on the reconstruction work undertaken by the Sri Lankan government in the North.

The Indian delegation has thanked Minister Rajapaksa for enabling their visit to the Menik Farm IDP Camp and the resettled area in Puliyankulam. They have noted the efforts of the Sri Lankan government of in the field of rehabilitation and resettlement and underlined the need for progress towards a political settlement.

The team thereafter met the Leader of the House in the Sri Lankan Parliament Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva.

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 statement said.

The members of the Indian delegation reaffirmed India's commitment to Sri Lanka' unity and prosperity and called for progress in the dialogue for a political settlement.

The delegation, which met Sri Lanka External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris, has 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 has underlined the range and depth of the India-Sri Lanka relationship and the need for close engagement on a continuing basis. He has briefed the delegation in detail on the action being taken by the government for implementation of the LLRC recommendations and the status of the dialogue process with the major Tamil political party Tamil National Alliance (TNA).

The delegation also has interacted with representatives of the TNA and the upcountry Tamil party, Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC), in addition to other Tamil and upcountry political parties, and learnt of their concerns.

The Indian delegation is scheduled to head for the North Wednesday to get a first hand look on the progress of the resettlement process.

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