India plans to set up a Consul-General's office in Jaffna to help the people of the peninsula and fully restore connectivity to south India. Sri Lanka has agreed to the proposal.

The visiting Indian Foreign Secretary, Nirupama Rao, told Indian mediapersons during an informal interaction here on Monday that during her nearly two-hour meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Sunday she had conveyed India's intention to open the consulate.

While Sri Lanka has three consulates in India — in Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkata — India has only one, in Kandy. A few weeks ago, Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama had indicated that his government would have no reservations if India decided to have consulates in other parts of Sri Lanka.

According to official sources here, the modalities on setting up the Jaffna Consulate are to be worked out. The basic objective is to cater to the needs of the people of the Jaffna peninsula.

“It would help India strengthen the cultural links between the Northern Province in Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu besides making it easier for the people to obtain visa to travel to India,” a senior official said.

The Foreign Secretary concluded her three-day visit to Sri Lanka on Monday.