Phuket: Amid India’s desire to see early rehabilitaion of nearly three lakh Tamil civilians displaced due to the war, external affairs minister S M Krishna on Wednesday met his Sri Lankan counterpart Rohitha Bogollagama and is understood to have discussed the issue.
Krishna and Bogollagama met in this resort island on the sidelines of the Asean Foreign Ministers Summit and are believed to have discussed the post-war situation.
Ahead of the meeting, Krishna told reporters that India wants Sri Lanka to accord top priority to the resettlement of nearly 3 lakh Tamil civilians displaced due to the civil war there and expressed readiness to help Colombo in this regard.
“We are in close touch with the Sri Lankan Government. They have said that they will resettle most of the displaced civilians in 180 days. We hope Sri Lanka will be able to do that,” Krishna said.
He said India was ready assist Sri Lanka in resettling the Tamil civilians displaced due to the 30-year-old civil war.
“They have promised us that they will resettle the displaced civilians soon,” he said.
The external affairs minister said India and Sri Lanka were in close touch with each other and recalled the visit of national security adviser M K Narayanan and foreign secretary Shivshankar Menon to Colombo in May.
“We have been in close touch with each other. There have been many visits by senior officials on both sides,” he said.
Sri Lankan defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s senior adviser Basil Rajapaksa were in New Delhi last month to discuss with Indian officials on the post-war situation.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also had a brief interaction with President Rajapaksa on the sidelines of the NAM Summit in Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt last week.