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Sri Lankan President on a private visit to India

February 08, 2013 11:13 IST

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Friday left for a two-day visit to India during which he will offer prayers at Bodh Gaya and Tirupathi.

He would visit Bodh Gaya and Tirupathi and the visit was of a personal nature, presidential officials said.

Rajapaksa would not be visiting New Delhi, officials asserted, dismissing notions that the Sri Lankan President might engage some Indian leaders to seek New Delhi's support on the resolution moved by the United States against Sri Lanka at the next United Nations Human Rights Council sessions in March.

Sri Lankan forces had crushed Tamil rebels in May 2009 after nearly three decades of brutal fighting. The conflict claimed up to 1,00,000 lives, according to UN estimates, and
both sides have been accused of war crimes.

Sri Lanka, while formulating an action plan for implementation, maintained that most of the recommendations were already put in to effect.

At the UN Human Rights Council session last year, the India-backed US sponsored resolution urged the Sri Lankan government to show progress on reconciliation.

Despite the private nature of the visit, Indian authorities have extended full security cooperation for the Sri Lankan President's visit, said Sri Lanka's High Commissioner in India Prasad Kariyawasam.

"The President would be given full protection by the Indian authorities," Kariyawasam said.

Some groups in Chennai have been opposing Rajapaksa’s visit and had urged the Indian government to cancel it.

Source: ANI