New Delhi, Oct 22 : Sri Lanka today promised to address the decades-old ethnic conflict in the island nation through a political settlement but only after finishing terrorists.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa's senior adviser Basil Rajapaksa is scheduled to visit India next week to discuss the issue with the Indian leadership.
Sri Lankan Minister of Rural Industries and Self Employment Promotion S B Nawinna said the government is committed to protecting Tamils in the restive northern region and that it had made efforts to supply food and other essential items to those affected.
"The government will end the conflict through a political settlement. After liberating the eastern region from the LTTE, the Government conducted elections and has made a Tamil as the Chief Ministers. Likewise, due representation will be given to people in north also," he told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.
"We will settle the (ethnic) issue after finishing terrorists," Nawinna said.
His comments assume significance as India has been insisting that Sri Lanka should address the ethnic issue through a political settlement, as there could be no military solution to the problem.