Chennai, April 7: Jayalalithaa today urged visiting Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga for early repatriation of Tamil refugees and their resettlement in their homeland.
At a meeting held on short notice, the chief minister met Kumaratunga for over an hour at the Raj Bhavan this morning to discuss issues of mutual concern. Details of the meet were worked out only yesterday after Kumaratunga decided to make a detour to Tamil Nadu instead of flying straight to New Delhi from Colombo on an official tour.
Figuring prominently in the talks was the problem of Tamil Nadu fishermen from the southern districts, particularly from Rameshwaram, being attacked and even detained by their Sri Lankan counterparts if they ventured close to the International Boundary Line in search of catch. Jayalalithaa asked Kumaratunga to use her good offices to resolve the issue as it posed a serious threat to the security and livelihood of the state’s fishermen.
The visiting President, on her part, updated Jayalalithaa on the progress made in the on-going peace talks between the Sri Lankan government and militants of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Tigers Elam.
Present with Kumaratunga at the meeting was MP and her adviser Lakshman Kadirgamar and another MP Ferial Ashraff. Jayalalithaa was accompanied by chief secretary Lakshmi Pranesh, finance secretary N. Narayanan and public secretary T. Pitchandi.