Rajapaksa chief guest at CWG closer, likely to discuss Tamil issue

New Delhi, Oct 11 (IANS) Sri Lanka is set to brief India on the rehabilitation of displaced Tamil civilians when President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is the chief guest at the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony, meets Prime Minister Manmohan Singh later this week.

Rajapaksa will attend the Oct 14 closing ceremony and return to Colombo Oct 15, said official sources.

Although no formal announcement has been made, there is a strong possibility of a bilateral meeting between the two leaders, said sources.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will host a lunch in Rajapaksa and his wife Shiranthi’s honour at the Hyderabad House Oct 14.

Rajapaksa, who last came on a state visit to India in June, is expected to tell Manmohan Singh about the initiatives taken by his government to resettle Tamil civilians and expedite a political settlement which would meet the aspirations of minority communities.

Colombo has conveyed to New Delhi that only about 28,000 displaced civilians remain to be resettled and assured that this process will be completed by the end of this year.

The issue will figure prominently in discussions between External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and his Sri Lankan counterpart G.L Peiris, who will arrive here Oct 12.

Peiris will also deliver the R.K. Mishra Memorial Lecture on ‘Growth, Equity and Security: Constitutional Imperatives for South Asia,’ at Teen Murti House Oct 15. The lecture has been organized by the Observer Research Foundation, a think tank.

Peiris will also discuss the forthcoming visit of Krishna, who is expected to go to Sri Lanka towards the end of this month and see for himself the progress in rehabilitating displaced civilians.

Krishna is likely to inaugurate two Indian consulates in Hambantota and Jaffna during his four-day visit to Sri Lanka, likely Oct 27 to 31.

Peiris will also meet Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Defence Minister A.K. Antony.