Ranil to brief Indian PM

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 18 April 2000, 13:57 GMT]
The leader of Sri Lanka's main opposition party, Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe, will hold talks with Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in New Delhi this week, a spokesman for the United National Party (UNP) said today. Mr. Wickermesinghe will brief the Indian PM on the current dialogue between his party and the Sri Lankan government about evolving a consensus on constitutional change aimed at solving the island's ethnic conflict. He will be arriving in Delhi tommorrow.

The UNP leader is visiting the Indian capital on his way to Sri Lanka from Egypt. (He was on holiday in Egypt from April 7 with his wife.)

The UNP spokesman said that Mr. Wickremesinghe will meet the President of the Indian Republic Mr. K.R Narayanan, Congress party leader Sonia Gandhi and other important political leaders during his stay in Delhi.

The opposition leader will then go to the south Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala where too he is scheduled to meet key politicians and opinion makers.

Mr. Wickremesinghe will be accompanied by the party's foreign affairs advisor Mr. Charlie Mahendran who was formerly a senior diplomat in Sri Lanka's Foreign Service.

The Tamilnet asked a senior UNP Parliamentarian today whether the Sri Lankan opposition leader would meet the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Mr. Muthtuvel Karunanidhi. The MP said that it would be a welcome development in his view but such a meeting is still not on the cards as far as he was aware of Mr. Wickremesinghe's schedule in south India.


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