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Rajapaksa to meet PM, raise issue of attacks on Sri Lankans


Altamash Hashmi,CNN-IBN
Sep 20, 2012 at 08:17am IST

New Delhi: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to raise the issue of attacks on Sri Lankans in Tamil Nadu when he meets the PM today - India to press for Tamil rights and a reconciliation process.

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Mamnohan Singh in New Delhi on Thursday. He is expected to raise the issue of recent attacks on Sri Lankans in Tamil Nadu with the Prime Minister.

Later, he will head to Sanchi to inaugurate a Buddhist University amidst protests.

Meanwhile, firebrand Tamil politician AMK Vaiko's plans to show black flag to the Sri Lankan President in Sanchi didn't get far. His convoy of 27 vehicles was stopped by the Madhya Pradesh police well before he could enter the Buddhist temple town.

“Our strategy will be based on the attitude of the government. We will protest peacefully,” said the MDMK general secretary.

Rajapaksa is in Madhya Pradesh on the BJP government and state authorities have drawn a limit for Vaiko, beyond which he risks arrest. “We are protesting against murderer Mahinda Rajapaksa coming here,” said Vaiko.

But the visit has given the Centre an opportunity to raise its concerns with the Sri Lankan President. Some of the issues that India might raise with Rajapaksa are:

  • India may press for Tamil rights and the reconciliation process

  • PM to call for early elections in Northern Jaffna province
  • Rajapakse may raise attacks on Sri Lankans in Tamil Nadu
  • Boosting bilateral trade currently at $5 bn is also on the agenda
  • Whether the Sri Lankan president will move to address New Delhi's concerns is uncertain. Many diplomats believe that the defeat of the Tamil Tigers has also shrunk South Block's capacity to nudge Rajapakse to be more generous to his Tamil minority.

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