New Delhi: India's centuries old system of local self-government - Panchayati Raj - could find an export market.
While peace talks are on in Sri Lanka, an all party committee from Colombo - not including the LTTE - is being briefed on the Panchayati Raj system in India.
The committee says the Panchayati Raj system could offer a model for empowering all communities in Sri Lanka including minorities, like the Tamils.
Says a member of the all party committee Professor Tissa Varthana, "We think that by studying the Panchayati Raj system where an effort is being made by setting up a separate ministry at the central level to try and make it effective."
But some Muslim members of the committee appear to favour another Indian model - autonomous councils such as those in Assam.
They say such councils could meet their political aspirations if Sri Lanka's eastern province, where Muslims make up nearly 40 per cent of the population .. is merged with the Tamil majority northern province.
Says another committee member Y L S Hameed, "Muslims are open to the merger on the condition that a separate autonomous unit is carved out."
No early decision is likely on which model would be most suitable for Sri Lanka. Much depends on how the talks in Geneva between the government and the Tamil rebels go and how committed the two sides are to peace.