Indian External Affairs Minister to visit Sri Lanka next week

Friday, 19 November 2010 02:51 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

New Delhi: India's External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka on an official tour from November 25 to 27, Indian media reported.

During his visit Krishna is expected to tour the conflict-affected North to observe the progress of the resettlement of displaced Tamil people and hold discussions on the utilization of Indian grants.

The Indian government has emphasized the need to assist Sri Lanka's conflict-affected people beyond rehabilitation and Krishna is expected to hold discussions with the Sri Lankan President on moves beyond resettlement and towards a political solution to the ethnic conflict.

India in August this year entered into an agreement with Sri Lanka to set up two new consulates, one in Jaffna, and the other in Hambanthota, as a measure to reinforce consular cooperation and friendly links between the two countries. Krishna will inaugurate the new Indian consulates in Jaffna and Hambanthota during his visit.

India has provided huge grants to develop the infrastructure in the conflict-affected areas in the North and East and to support the government's rehabilitation programs for the IDPs.

The Indian government last year extended a US $ 425 million credit line to Sri Lanka to develop its war-damaged rail tracks in the northern region.

In addition, India is also committed to assist in the rehabilitation of the ports and aviation sector in Sri Lanka to include the Kankasanthurai Port, the Point Pedro Harbour and the Palaly airfield.

Recently India announced that it would step up assistance to the Indian-origin plantation community in Sri Lanka's hill country.