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Will PM travel to Lanka for CHOGM? DMK warns of consequences

Source: PTI
October 31, 2013 18:23 IST
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No decision has been taken so far on whether Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will attend the of Commonwealth Heads of Government meet in

Sri Lanka on November 15-16, the external affairs ministry said on Thursday, asserting it will be taken after considering all aspects including "national interest" and "international obligations".

"A process has been set in motion to arrive at a decision on this matter. We are taking into consideration all aspects our national interest, our foreign policy priorities and our international obligation. That process has not reached its culmination...," the spokesperson in the MEA said.

He was asked whether Prime Dr Singh will be attending CHOGM summit in Colombo. The spokesperson's comment comes a day after the Congress core committee met to discuss the strategy to be adopted on the contentious issue.

Parties in Tamil Nadu are strongly opposed to Dr Singh's participation in the summit, alleging that Sri Lanka has indulged in atrocities against ethnic Tamils. Scaling up pressure on the Centre, the Tamil Nadu assembly had unanimously passed a resolution demanding that India "completely" boycott the meeting in Sri Lanka and seek temporary suspension of the island nation from the Commonwealth.

The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam reiterated that India should boycott it to register protest over the alleged war crimes against Tamils in Sri Lanka. In a sharp reaction to reports in a section of the press that Dr Singh was likely to attend the meet, DMK chief M Karunanidhi said people of Tamil Nadu expect that there should not even be a symbolic participation from India at CHOGM.

"When we say India should not participate, even a speck of rust should not be present at the meet," he told reporters here, spelling out his party's tough stand on the issue. The 90-year-old DMK patriarch also cautioned the Congress that if the prime minister participates, "his party has to face the consequences."

Asked about the chief minister of Northern Provincial Council C V Vigneswaran writing to Dr Singh, the MEA spokesperson said the letter was received on October 28 and broadly the Lankan leader had expressed his gratitude for Indian assistance and invited him to visit Jaffna.

Meanwhile, Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India Prasad Kariyawasam has said India would be isolated if it does not participate in the summit. "Human rights violation takes place in every country in the world. We have our share of it and we are making effort to correct them. All the governments in the Commonwealth had decided unanimously that the summit will be held in Sri Lanka, so there is no boycott. Isolation will happen to those who do not participate not the other way round,” he had said.



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