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Rajapaksa visit: Tamil issue to take centre stage

By Samyuktha

New Delhi, Jun 9: The Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who arrived in India on Tuesday, Jun 8 evening amid protests in Tamil Nadu, is expected to begin talks in New Delhi on Wednesday, Jun 9.

The Tamil issue is set to take centre stage at the talks with the Lankan president briefing Indian leaders on the post-war political reconciliation plan for Tamils.

This is Rajapaksa's fist state visit following his victory in the presidential polls in Jan 2010. He was elected to power after the government's offensive against the rebel gorup Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) ended successfully in May 2009, when the LTTE chief Prabhakaran was killed.

As many as 300,000 Tamils were displaced in the war and the Lankan government is yet to facilitate the rehabiliatation of over 80,000 war displaced Tamils.

Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh are also expected to sign pacts to deepen the bilateral ties. The pacts will be related to crucial concerns such as counter-terrorism

, transfer of sentenced prisoners, and for mutual legal assistance in criminal matters.

One of the key pacts that the leaders will be signing is the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) to bolster the Indo-Lankan economic ties.

Before returning to Sri Lanka on Friday, Jun 11, Rajapaksa will be visiting Shimla on Thursday, Jun 10.

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