Sri Lanka’s president in India for talks likely to focus on Tamil rebels

NEW DELHI, June 2 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s president arrived here Thursday for talks with Indian leaders that are expected to cover Colombo’s plans to strike a controversial tsunami aid-sharing deal with Tamil rebels banned in India. NEW DELHI, June 2 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s president arrived here Thursday for talks with Indian leaders that are expected to cover Colombo’s plans to strike a controversial tsunami aid-sharing deal with Tamil rebels banned in India. The Indians have kept mum on the agenda for the talks between Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Indian Premier Manmohan Singh and other senior Indian leaders on bilateral issues.

“It’s a working visit,” said Indian foreign ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna. “There’s no agenda. When two heads of state meet, they’re free to discuss everything.”

But diplomatic sources said the discussions would touch on Colombo’s plans for the tsunami aid-sharing pact with the rebels who have been fighting for independence in Sri Lanka’s north and east where its two-million-strong Tamil minority is concentrated.

Indian news media reports said the talks would also focus on New Delhi’s concern about reports that the rebels were developing their own air force.

Sri Lank