January 9, 2016 02:20 pm
Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar will have talks with Sri Lankan officials and Lankan leaders on January 12, the New Indian Express reported.
Arriving from the Maldives in the morning, Jaishankar will immediately go into meetings with the Lankan Foreign Secretary, Foreign Minister and the Prime Minister.
The Tamil parties have expressed a wish to meet him but it is still not certain if a slot can be found for them given the tight schedule for what is essentially a one day visit.
Sources said that the main purpose of the visit is to pave the way for the India-Sri Lanka Joint Commission (ISLJC) meeting here in early February, which will be attended by Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. February 5th and 6th is the tentative date for the ISLJC meeting.
This will be Jaishankar’s first stand-alone visit as Foreign Secretary, and is officially described as a routine one. But political circles attach importance to the visit given the fact that the Lankan parliament converted itself into a Constitutional Assembly on Saturday, to draft a new constitution for the country. Among other aims, the new constitution is meant to have a new devolution package to promote ethnic reconciliation.