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Lanka must address reconciliation issue urgently: Swaraj

April 21, 2012 22:31 IST

Sri Lanka must address the issue of reconciliation with the Tamil minority in the country with "a sense of urgency", Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said in Colombo on Saturday.

Swaraj, who is leading a 12-member Indian parliamentary delegation, said she had told Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa that the current stalemate and the deadlock on the talks with the Tamil National Alliance over the parliamentary select committee process must be broken.

She said both the TNA and the main opposition UNP must be persuaded to join the talks.

The Indian parliamentary delegation's six-day visit to Colombo was aimed at looking at Sri Lanka's resettlement and reconciliation work since the conflict with the LTTE ended three years ago.

The delegation was also checking on infrastructure development projects in the former battle zones assisted by India.

The Indian opposition leader said the delegation's talks centered around the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission's recommendations.

"We have brought out clearly the need for expeditious implementation of the measures proposed by the LLRC with regard to information on missing persons and detainees, investigation of cases of disappearances and abductions," she said.

"It is important that these are pursued with a sense of urgency. This is the message we have conveyed to our Sri Lankan friends," Swaraj said.

On the issue of demilitarising the former battle zones in the north and east, Swaraj said the Sri Lankan president had promised to ensure that the military did not interfere with the civilian life.

To a question on the resettlement of those displaced by the conflict, Swaraj said she had visited one village.

"The pace of development was good given that the whole infrastructure was destroyed. There is a lot to be done. There are 6,000 people waiting in camps wanting to go home," she said.

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