Sushma to lead MPs' delegation to Sri Lanka

Sushma to lead MPs' delegation to Sri Lanka

A delegation of MPs led by Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj will travel to Sri Lanka next week to assess the resettlement and political process in the war-torn areas there.  The visit is aimed at reinforcing India’s commitment towards ethnic Sri Lankan Tamils.

The 15-member multi-party delegation with representatives from the Congress, BJP, DMK, AIADMK and Left parties will be in Sri Lanka from April 16 to April 21.

The delegation is likely to meet Sri Lanka’s top leaders, including President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and travel to northern and eastern parts of the country, which bore the maximum brunt of the nearly three decades-old civil war.

At least seven members of the delegation are from Tamil Nadu, where the issue of Sri Lankan Tamils is emotive.

The MPs, while assessing the process of resettlement of Tamils displaced by the war that ended three years back, will press for an early political solution which involves devolution of powers to the Tamils, sources said .

Besides Swaraj, the delegation will include Congress MPs Sudarshana Natchiappan, Manicka Tagore, M Krishnaswamy and N S V Chithan, DMK’s T K S Elangovan and Prahlad Joshi and C P Thakur from the BJP. The CPM will be represented by T K Rangarajan. The leaders will travel to Jaffna and Kilinochchi, and see for themselves the resettlement process taken up after the end of the war.

The MPs will interact with Tamil parties and common people in the war-torn areas and seek feedback from them on the process. The long-awaited visit by the delegation comes close on the heels of India voting against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on March 23, sources said. 

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