Sri Lankan delegation to meet Kovind, Modi

New Delhi: An eight-member Sri Lankan Parliamentary delegation led by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya is here on a three-day trip at the invitation of Indian Parliament to strengthen relations between the two countries.

The delegation, which includes MPs of Tamil parties, will call on President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday and discuss issues of bilateral interest.

Leader of the Opposition in Sri Lankan Parliament, R. Sampanthan of Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Douglas Devananda of Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP), a former Minister, and Mano Ganesan, a Minister in the Ranil Wickeramasinghe government, are part of the delegation.

Devananda said he would utilize the opportunity to submit to the Indian government issues of concern related to Sri Lankan Tamils and the need for a political solution based on the India-Sri Lankan agreement of 1987.

He said he was not particularly enthusiastic about the proposed Constitutional amendment being talked about by the Sri Lankan government in relation to Tamils.

The others in the delegation are Hakim Rauf of Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, Nimal Sripala Desilva of Sri Lankan Freedom Party, Gayantha Karunatilake of United National Party and Vijaya Herath of Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna.

The Sri Lankan MPs are also expected to visit Agra and Bengaluru before returning to Colombo.