Sept 20, New Delhi: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa today held meetings with the Indian President and the Prime Minister and discussed all issues of mutual interest to the two anions, President's media unit said.
President Rajapaksa, who is in India on a three-day official visit, met the Indian President Pranab Mukherjee and the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today to discuss key bilateral issues, including fishermen issue and a speedy solution to the ethnic issue.
During discussions India has pressed for an expeditious inclusive solution to the ethnic issue and rehabilitation of displaced Tamils.
The President and his delegation have met Indian President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapathi Bhavan to discuss further enhancing Indo-Lanka ties.
According to the President's media division the Indian president has hailed Sri Lanka's economic growth and praised the massive development activities taking place in the Northern and Eastern provinces.
De-mining 90 percent of vulnerable lands in war hit areas and completing resettlement process successfully are major achievements of the island nation, the Indian president has noted.
During discussions with the Indian Prime Minister, the Indian leader has raised the issue of devolution of powers to the minority Tamils and the issue with the Tamil Nadu fishermen.
Apprising the Indian PM in response, the Sri Lankan President has said that measures are underway to hold the elections in the Northern Province next year.
President Rajapaksa has apprised the Indian PM of the various measures taken by his government to rehabilitate the displaced Tamils.
According to Indian media reports, both leaders have discussed in depth the arrest and alleged harassment of Indian fishermen by Sri Lanka when they cross the maritime boundary and fish in Sri Lankan waters and agreed that it would be best for fishermen's associations to meet and discuss these issues further.
Sri Lankan President has noted that the relationship between the two countries that goes back to centauries should not be tarnished by petty incidents.
The President has appreciated the Indian government's help to expedite the Sri Lanka's development initiative.
Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L Peiris, Parliamentarian Sajin Vaas Gunawardena, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga and Sri Lankan high commissioner in India Prasad Kariyawasam were also present at the occasion.
Sri Lankan President will leave for Sanchi Friday morning to participate in a ceremony to lay the foundation stone for the University of Buddhist and Indic Studies.
(Photos by Nalin Hewapathirana)