Indian MPs to visit Lanka to interact with politicians - The New Indian Express

Indian MPs to visit Lanka to interact with politicians

Published: 06th April 2013 06:54 AM

Last Updated: 06th April 2013 06:54 AM

A group of six Members of the Parliament from India will be in Sri Lanka from April 8 to 12 on a tour organised by the Parliamentary Forum of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

However, the visit is not an offshoot of the on-going agitation in Tamil Nadu on the Lankan Tamil issue, a FICCI official said.

“We had been planning the tour for the past many months. It is part of a programme to facilitate the interaction of Indian MPs with other parliamentarians from other countries in South Asia,” Jyoti Malhotra, Convenor of FICCI’s Parliamentary Forum told Express over the phone from New Delhi on Friday.

“We have had such interactions with four other countries so far. However, this will be our first with Sri Lanka,” she added.

According to the Indian officials here, MPs have been drawn from Congress, BJP, BSP and Trinamool Congress. Significantly, there is no representation from Tamil Nadu.

The members of the delegation are Sugata Roy of Trinamool party; Prakash Javdekar and Anurag Singh Thakur, both from the Bhartiya Janta Party; Sandeep Dikshit and Madhu Goud Yaskhi, both from Congress; and Dhananjay Singh of the Bahujan Samaj Party.

Madhu Goud Yaskhi, being from Andhra Pradesh, is the only South Indian in the visiting team.

Officials said that the MPs would interact with Lankan parliamentarians and meet Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiutheen.

During an extensive tour of Jaffna, the visiting Indian MPs will also meet a cross-section of political parties and civil society, and visit the India-aided development projects.

The political parties they will interact with in Sri Lanka are Tamil National Alliance (TNA), the Tamil National Peoples’ Front (TNPF), Eelam Peoples’ Democratic Party (EPDP), Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), All Ceylon Muslim Congress (ACMC), and Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC).

The MPs will also see the housing project at Columbuthurai and Eluthumaduval, visit the fishnet factory in Gurunagar set up with a grant funded by India of LKR 162 million (US$ 1.3 million), and see the work being done at the Kankesanthurai port.

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