India in Focus for Sri Lanka's New Regime

 Share
EMAIL
PRINT
COMMENTS
India in Focus for Sri Lanka's New Regime

The New Delhi visit of Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, on the invitation of India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, was his first overseas visit after assuming office. (Press Trust of India)


New Delhi:  In what is being seen as a significant step in enhancing India-Sri Lanka ties after the the recent elections in the island nation, the Foreign Ministers of both countries agreed to re-engage on the critical issue of the repatriation of Sri Lankan refugees currently in India. A meeting between concerned officials is being planned before the end of January. (Indian Spy's Role Alleged in Sri Lankan President's Election Defeat: Report)

This decision was announced at the end of a three-hour long meeting between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Sri Lanka's new Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera in Delhi on Sunday. Mr Samaraweera's arrival in Delhi at the invitation of Ms Swaraj is his first foreign visit after the new government took over in Colombo last week. The visit is being seen both as the new Sri Lankan government's resolve to boost ties with India, as well as New Delhi's keenness to get down to business immediately with Colombo's new regime.

As Sri Lanka's new government promises a departure from predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa's policies, especially of using proximity with China as leverage against India, officials at the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said Mr Samaraweera  assured India that his government saw this visit as an "opportunity to enhance ties with India that will benefit economically."

In an interview to NDTV on Saturday, Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Rail Wickremasinghe had said Mr Rajapaksa's policy of "playing China off against India came a cropper", and that the new government would review several multi-billion dollar projects contracted to Chinese companies. (India Wary of China-Lanka bhai-bhai)

On the critical issue of a political reconciliation with Sri Lanka's Tamil minorities, while the new government under President Maithripala Sirisena has categorically said it will not pursue war crimes charges against Mr Rajapaksa, sources said the Lankan Foreign Minister apprised New Delhi of its decision to replace a Governor from the Northern Province with a member of the LLRC, or Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Committee, the reconciliation process. The Sri Lankan government has promised to hold nationwide Parliamentary elections within 100 days.



Get Breaking news, live coverage, and Latest News from India and around the world on NDTV.com. Catch all the Live TV action on NDTV 24x7 and NDTV India. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram for latest news and live news updates.

NDTV Beeps - your daily newsletter

................................ Advertisement ................................

................................ Advertisement ................................

................................ Advertisement ................................