Sri Lanka must not allow Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to visit the country’s former war zone in the Tamil-dominated north, since he declined to attend the CHOGM summit in Sri Lanka, the main opposition UNP said on Monday.
Speaking in parliament, United National Party’s (UNP) senior leader John Amaratunga expressed vehement opposition to Dr. Singh visiting the island’s war-torn north.
He said Dr. Singh’s visit to Jaffna was unacceptable as he had earlier declined to attend the CHOGM summit last month.
C.V. Wigneswaran, newly-elected northern chief minister had extended an invitation to Dr. Singh to visit Jaffna.
“This should not be allowed to happen. How could the Indian Prime Minister be allowed to visit the country without an invitation from President Mahinda Rajapaksa?” Mr. Amaratunga asked.
He said the UNP is against Dr. Singh visiting Jaffna particularly as he chose to skip CHOGM.
“We are concerned if this was an attempt to cause separation of the country. The UNP will stand opposed to it,” Mr. Amaratunga added.
Dr. Singh had decided against attending the CHOGM summit in view of the stiff opposition by parties in Tamil Nadu as well as a section in Congress party.
Political parties in Tamil Nadu and several other outfits had opposed India’s participation at any level in the CHOGM summit alleging that the Sri Lankan government had committed gross violation of human rights during the last phase of the civil war in 2009 and had no plans to devolve powers to the minority ethnic Tamils.