President Mahinda Rajapaksa returned to the country yesterday after a successful three-day visit to India despite the protests staged by the pro-LTTE Tamil Nadu political parties.
The President, who arrived in India on Wednesday, met his Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee and Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Thursday (20) and held bilateral discussions on key issues that are of mutual interest including fishermen issue and a speedy solution to the ethnic issue.
During discussions with Mukherjee, the President noted that some hostile incidents in Tamil Nadu such as the recent attack on Sri Lankan pilgrims would not affect the strong historic ties between the two countries.
President Rajapaksa apprised the Indian PM of the measures his government has taken for the reconciliation with the minority communities and progress in development activities in the former war-torn North.
Indian leader has stressed the need to expedite a meaningful solution for power devolution in Sri Lanka to achieve a sustainable peace. The President assured the Indian PM that the process of democracy will be strengthened and elections will be held in the Northern Province next year.
Dr. Singh has also discussed the issue of Indian fishermen and both leaders agreed that it would be best for fishermen's associations to meet and discuss these issues further.
The President laid the foundation stone for Sanchi University of Buddhist Studies with Prime Minister of Bhutan Jigme Thinley.