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Sri Lanka enjoys good ties with India: Rajapaksa

April 22, 2013 19:37 IST

Sri Lanka enjoys good bilateral relations with India despite the anti-Lanka protests in Tamil Nadu, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said on Monday.

Replying to a question on the simmering tension in Tamil Nadu vis a vis Sri Lanka, Rajapaksa said that he would welcome the politicians from the state to visit the island nation and witness its progress.

"We have always had good relations with India and we have always acted to promote the goodwill," Rajapaksa said while addressing the local media.

He recalled that Tamil Nadu politicians who had visited Sri Lanka in the past had expressed satisfaction over the ground situation in Colombo.

The President said despite the protests, the relationship with India as a whole has not been affected.

Commenting on the prospect of holding provincial council elections in the north, the President said that he believed that the conditions were conducive to holding the election.

"We will take further action to improve the ground situation," Rajapaksa said.

The President had pledged to hold the election in September this year.

Sri Lanka has come under pressure from the international community to hold elections in the northern provincial council as a major step in the process of reconciliation with the Tamil minority.

Energy Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi, who was also present, said the joint India-Sri Lanka venture of constructing the Sampur coal power plant would commence in July.

She said it would add 500 mega watts of power to the national grid by 2016.

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