COLOMBO: External Affairs Minister S M Krishna will hand over to Tamil war refugees 48 houses built with an Indian aid at Ariyalai, near Jaffna, during his visit to Sri Lanka’s Tamil-speaking Northern Province on January 18.
The Indian Consul General in Jaffna, V Mahalingam, told ‘Express’ on Thursday that the minister would also hand over a repaired school building at Kilinochchi.
India had undertaken to build 1000 houses for the war refugees from Jaffna and repair 79 schools in the Northern Province which were damaged during the 2006-2009 Eelam War IV. Out of 1,000 houses, 50 have already been handed over to the refugees.
Krishna will also distribute bicycles as part of the Indian project to distribute 10,000 bicycles among war-displaced Tamils.
The minister has no plans yet to meet representatives of the public in Jaffna or Kilinochchi. Krishna, who arrives in Colombo on January 16, will meet President Mahinda Rajapaksa and other ministers. He would also meet a delegation of the TNA led by R Sampanthan.
Rajapaksa To Visit Pak
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa would be visiting Pakistan tentatively in the second week of February, informed sources told Express on Thursday.
A key factor determining the actual dates of the visit would be the security and political situation prevailing in Pakistan. Pakistani President Asif Zardari had visited Lanka in November 2010 with a high-level business delegation. Pak-Lanka trade remains well below US$ 500 million, despite the existence of a Free Trade Agreement since 2005 .