The visit of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to India beginning on June 8 will be an occasion for the reaffirmation of the close and friendly ties between India and Sri Lanka. The visit should contribute towards strengthening these relations further.
On the occasion of the President’s visit, the Indian government should impress upon the Sri Lankan President the need for an expeditious political settlement of the Tamil question which would involve the devolution of powers and autonomy for the Tamil-speaking areas. Such a political solution will strengthen the unity and integrity of Sri Lanka.
With the end of the prolonged war, the rehabilitation of the displaced Tamil people is the other major concern. Out of the 3 lakh displaced people who were in relief camps, still around 80,000 have not returned to their homes. A speedy rehabilitation of the displaced people, ensuring their means of livelihood and their security should be a major priority. India, which is also providing assistance to this process, can discuss ways to speed up the rehabilitation.