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Visit of Joint Parliamentary delegation to Sri Lanka - 16-21 April 2012

1. A Joint Parliamentary delegation led by the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Smt Sushma Swaraj, is visiting Sri Lanka from April 16 to 21, 2012. The delegation consists of Members of Parliament from the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha nominated by various political parties, including the BJD, BJP, CPI (M), INC, JD (U) and SP.

2. The visit is being organised in the context of a commitment made by the External Affairs Minister in Parliament in response to suggestions from Members of the Parliament during Parliamentary debates on the situation in Sri Lanka.

3. The delegation is expected to travel to different parts of Sri Lanka, including its Northern, Eastern, Central and Western Provinces. The primary focus of the delegation will, however, be in the areas recovering from thirty years conflict in the North and East of Sri Lanka where development assistance projects for the resettlement and rehabilitation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and reconstruction of areas affected by the conflict are being undertaken by the Government of India.

4. The delegation is expected to start its programme in Northern Sri Lanka with a visit to the IDP Camp at Menik Farm. The delegation is scheduled to visit Vavuniya, Mullaitivu, Jaffna, Kankesanthurai, Kalutara, Dickoya, Hatton and Batticaloa where Indian assistance projects, including those related to the development of rail and port infrastructure, connectivity and transportation, education, public health, housing, de-mining, vocational training and economic revival, are under implementation. The delegation is also scheduled to meet a wide cross-section of parliamentarians, Pradesiya Sabha members, civil society and community leaders in the Northern Province.

5. In Colombo, the delegation is scheduled to call on the President of Sri Lanka and meet the Ministers of External Affairs and Economic Development. An interaction with the Leader of the House and Sri Lankan Parliamentarians has also been arranged. The delegation will separately meet the Leader of the Opposition and representatives of the Tamil National Alliance, the Sri Lankan Muslim Congress, the Ceylon Workers Congress and other upcountry political parties.

New Delhi