National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon arrived in Colombo on Monday to hold crucial talks on the controversial 13th amendment on devolution of power in the Tamil-dominated northern province and a trilateral maritime security treaty with Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
During his visit, Menon is expected to meet President Mahinda Rajapaksa other senior officials, external affairs ministry sources said. He is likely to pursue the Indian concerns on Sri Lanka's move to dilute powers of the provincial councils, sources said.
Menon's visit to Lanka comes close on the heels of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa sending his younger bother Basil Rajapaksa to New Delhi to discuss the issue. Basil, the minister of economic development, met External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid in New Delhi and expressed his appreciation for the vast number of projects that are being undertaken by India in Lanka especially in the northern and eastern provinces.
During the meeting, Khurshid conveyed India's concerns on the 13th amendment and urged Basil not to do anything to dilute its provisions.
As per the 13th amendment that followed the Indo-Sri Lankan Accord of July 1987, the Sri Lankan government had agreed to devolve some authority to the provinces.
Menon is also expected to meet the Tamil National Alliance. During his visit, Menon will meet Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa other top military officials to hold discussions on the trilateral maritime security treaty between India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
Menon, who has served in Colombo as the Indian high commissioner in the past, is visiting Sri Lanka with a six-member delegation at the invitation External Affairs Ministry.