Krishna meets Lankan FM; discuss resettlement of IDPs

Krishna meets Lankan FM; discuss resettlement of IDPs


S M Krishna

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna met his Sri Lankan counterpart Rohitha Bogollagama and is understood to have enquired about the progress in the resettlement of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in northern parts of the country.

Krishna had a long chat with Bogollagama on the sidelines of a dinner hosted by Myanmar Foreign Minister U Nyan Win in the honour of participants of the 12th ministerial meeting of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi Sectoral, Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) here last night.

Krishna is understood to have enquired about the details about the IDPs who have left the settlement camps, the sources said.

The issue of Indian fishermen straying into Lankan waters was also discussed with Bogollagama. The Lankan minister is understood to have assured Krishna that the Navy has been directed to handover such fishermen to Indian authorities directly, they said.

Krishna also sought to know the progress on a Memorandum of Understanding to be inked for cooperation between the navies of the two countries, the sources said.

The meeting in Myanmar comes hours after a three-member Lankan delegation comprising Basil Rajapaksa, senior adviser to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Lalith Weeratunga, secretary to the president, and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa held a series of meetings with the Indian leadership in Delhi.

They had also called on Krishna yesterday morning.

The Lankan delegation had told the Indian side that more than 158,000 IDPs have since left the camps and around 115,000 still remained there.

They indicated their resolve to resettle the IDPs before end-January 2010.

The Sri Lankan government had set a 180-day deadline for resettling IDPs after the Lankan forces defeated the LTTE in May, bringing to an end decades-long insurgency in the island nation.

Last night, Krishna also met Nepalese Deputy Prime Minister Sujatha Koirala and Myanmar counterpart U Nyan Win.

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