Sri Lanka President meets Mukherjee, Manmohan Singh

NEW DELHI (TIP): Visiting Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa met President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on September 20 evening.

Official sources said the meetings consisted of discussions in a restricted format, followed by delegation-level meetings.

Each of the two meetings lasted for over 40-minutes each.

The meetings provided an opportunity to comprehensively review all matters of mutual interest. This was the first detailed discussion of all substantive issues since June 2010, the sources said.

The meeting between President Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Singhdiscussed the momentum of economic ties and assessed the growth of commercial relations positively.

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According to sources, President Rajapaksa thanked Dr. Singh for the Kapilavastu relics expositions, saying that over three million Sri Lankans had been able to pay their respects.

The Sri Lankan President, who is visit the historic Buddhist site of Sanchi, said the expositions signified the strong cultural ties between the people of India and Sri Lanka.

Prime Minister Singh, according to sources, raised the issue of devolution of powers so that the Tamil citizens of Sri Lanka can look forward to a future where they can live with dignity and respect.

President Rajapaksa revealed that provincial elections were held in three provinces, and added that administrative and other steps are underway so as to hold elections in Northern Province.

Dr. Singh also emphasised on the need to treat fishermen humanely in cases where they may stray across maritime boundary.

Both agreed that it would be best for the fishermen associations of the two countries to meet and discuss these issues further.

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