New Delhi, 25 October
Even as Sri Lanka gets ready to host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meet (CHOGM) next month, it is increasingly seen as unlikely that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, will attend the summit.
According to sources in the government, with elections around the corner and regional parties expected to play an important role in the next government, Mr Singh&’s attending the CHOGM will upset the political parties of Tamil Nadu which the government would rather avoid.
Sources said Sri Lanka&’s failure to properly address the alleged human rights violations during the end of its conflict with the LTTE and also Colombo&’s reluctance to deliver on its promise of ‘political devolution’ to the Tamils has played a major factor in this decision.
India&’s PM not attending the summit will be an embarrassment for Colombo, with the Canadian PM Mr Stephen Harper already having said that he will not attend CHOGM this year. The summit will be chaired by Prince Charles and the UK Prime Minister, Mr David Cameron, will be in attendance. India is contemplating sending Vice President Hamid Ansari to represent India in the summit. External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid will also likely attend the summit.
Colombo&’s hosting the CHOGM summit is also seen by many as an attempt by the Rajapaksa government to bolster its image in the international stage.