press trust of india
Colombo, 8 July
National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon arrived today to hold crucial talks on the controversial 13th amendment on devolution of power in the Tamil-dominated northern province and a trilateral maritime security treaty with Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
During his visit, Mr Menon is expected to meet President Mahinda Rajapaksa and other senior officials, according to External Affairs Ministry sources.
He is likely to pursue the Indian concerns on Sri Lanka’s move to dilute powers of the provincial councils, sources said.
Mr Menon’s visit to Lanka comes close on the heels of Mr Rajapaksa sending his younger bother Mr Basil Rajapaksa to New Delhi to discuss the matter.
Mr Basil, the Minister of Economic Development, met External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid in New Delhi and expressed his appreciation for the vast number of projects that are being undertaken by India in Lanka especially in the Northern and Eastern provinces.
During the meeting, Mr Khurshid conveyed India’s concerns on the 13th amendment and urged Mr Basil not to do anything to dilute its provisions.
Mr Menon is also expected to meet the Tamil National Alliance (TNA).
Mr Shivashankar Menon, who has served in Colombo as the Indian High Commissioner in the past, is visiting Sri Lanka with a six-member delegation at the invitation External Affairs Ministry.