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PM, Rajapaksa discuss issue of displaced Tamils in SL

October 15, 2010 16:38 IST

Rehabilitation of displaced Tamils in Sri Lanka on Friday came up for discussion during a meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa amid India's insistence that it was time for its neighbour to act decisively to 'win over' the ethnic minority.

Singh hosted lunch for Rajapaksa, who was in New Delhi to attend the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games, during which informal discussions on various bilateral issues were held.

During the meeting, the Sri Lankan president is believed to have apprised Singh about the steps taken by his government to rehabilitate Tamils, who were displaced by the war between Sri Lankan troops and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam which ended a year ago.

On Thursday, Sri Lankan Foreign Minister G L Peiris held a meeting with his Indian counterpart S M Krishna during which the two sides discussed the issue.

Peiris told Krishna that the number of displaced people who are yet to be rehabilitated has come down to 20,000 from 2.80 lakh.

They also discussed about Sri Lankan government's plan for political devolution. Krishna, while interacting with a group of mediapersons in New Delhi on Friday, said that he had told Peiris that since presidential elections and all other polls had concluded, it was 'now time to act decisively to win over Tamil speaking Sri Lankans so that their concerns were taken care of adequately.'

It is important to bring about homogeneity between ethnic Tamils and Sinhalese people, he said, adding the Sri Lankan side agreed and assured that they were working on it.

Krishna and Peiris also took stock of the progress on implementation of bilateral pacts signed earlier this year.

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