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Updated: October 27, 2013 11:27 IST

Khurshid will attend CHOGM

Sandeep Dikshit
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In a television interview, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid confirmed his participation in next month’s CHOGM meeting to be held in Colombo.
The Hindu In a television interview, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid confirmed his participation in next month’s CHOGM meeting to be held in Colombo.

Question mark still over Manmohan’s participation

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid will represent India at the Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM) summit, though the Tamil Nadu Assembly unanimously passed a resolution urging boycott of the meeting because of human rights abuses in Sri Lanka.

In a television interview, Mr. Khurshid confirmed his participation in next month’s meeting; but there is still a question mark over who among the three VVIPs will attend the summit: President Pranab Mukherjee; Prime Minister Manmohan Singh; or Vice-President Hamid Ansari. Or whether Mr. Khurshid himself will lead the Indian delegation.

However, government sources said India was unlikely to follow Canada, which has decided to go unrepresented at the meeting on the grounds that Sri Lanka has not done enough to address allegations of human rights abuses by its security forces during the war against the LTTE. “I can say I will be there. The issue of Sri Lankan Tamils remains important to us,” Mr. Khurshid told Times Now. Asked whether the Prime Minister would go to Colombo, Mr. Khurshid said a decision would be taken at the right time.

Mr. Khurshid indicated the thinking in South Block over India’s participation at the meeting, pointing out that it was not a bilateral meeting but a multilateral forum. India’s absence would be conspicuous. “By not engaging with Sri Lanka, India will be losing out. Even if it means raising…the Tamil fishermen issue. How can India do it without engaging?”

Sri Lankan Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris expressed his country’s preference for India to be represented by Dr. Singh when he visited New Delhi in August to hand over the invitation. He denied the charge that Sri Lanka lagged in rehabilitation and resettlement, arguing that Colombo’s record was far better than that of some post-conflict societies such as Cambodia and the former Yugoslavia.

The sources also dropped several other hints on India’s preference. The first is the recent election, with enthusiastic participation, in the Northern Province. New Delhi would like other interested parties to give the Tamil National Alliance Government (TNA) space to negotiate greater political autonomy with Colombo. This was hinted at by Mr. Khurshid too. “The TNA swept [the polls]. There needs to be an acknowledgement of that.”

The second is Mr. Khurshid’s visit to Jaffna earlier this month. There, he reviewed the work being done by Sri Lanka with considerable outside assistance, including India’s, in a host of areas to normalise the situation. An about-turn by India after Mr. Khurshid’s conditional endorsement of the resettlement being done might not appear consistent, the sources said, especially after he had said India would work with Sri Lanka for a lasting political solution.

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India should take its lessons learnt from the creation of Pakistan, Bangladesh liberation and the current relationship with both of them. After liberating Bangladesh India should have re-merged it with the Indian union like merging Hyderabad with India. Srilanka is no less than Pakistan in every single action. India gave best assistance during the last ealam war then with financial assistance in rebuilding the island nation, but Srilanka right from the beginning has helped both Pakistan and China in every event of their war with India and now even after receiving Indian assistance has given its port with strategic importance to China assisting in the formation of the Chinese string of pearls and launches a series of daily attacks aimed at killing and harming the Indian fishermen which even Pakistan doesn't. India should do everything possible to isolate Srilanka in the world stage even before it turns into another Pakistan. It isn't the time to attend the CHOGM but to do a Bangladesh.

from:  PSMAYO
Posted on: Oct 27, 2013 at 23:20 IST

Dear Shri Khurshid!

India and Tamils can be the best friends. So many lives have been lost in the war, including that of our beloved Shri Rajeev Gandhi. LTTE did not believe the Srilankan Govt will implement even the minimum devolution. 13 Amendment should be implemented guaranteeing rights over land and police. The East-North merger is another issue. Why don't you address these in your meeting Sir.

from:  Kathir
Posted on: Oct 27, 2013 at 19:17 IST

By seemingly engaging with sri lanka thus far india doen't seem to have achieved anything yet substantial for the suffering tamils there till now. and i don't think india honestly wishes to 'achieve' any meaningful concessions from the racist regime.

from:  ponnusamy m
Posted on: Oct 27, 2013 at 18:07 IST

I congratulate the decision taken by Mr. Kurshid. I also encourage our PM to take a decision to attend the same. The parties in Tamilnadu eat votes only on Srilankan issue. On the other hand Common wealth meet is not to discuss such trivial issues but to discuss mutual cooperation to thwart the attempts of the Super powers to control the second line countries. Missing the meet is great loss for Indian country at large. Tamils issue is internal politics of the neighboring country and any comment on this issue is interfering with their internal politics.

from:  Prof Daniel
Posted on: Oct 27, 2013 at 17:15 IST

Though India may not follow Canada in boycotting the Meet, we should
express dissent by none of our 3 top functionaries viz. The President,
Vice-President and Prime Minister attending the Meet. Sri Lanka has not
been giving the kind of respect India deserves. After all India stood by
Sri Lanka government in their fight against LTTE despite strong
political compulsions at home to the contrary.

from:  Sudarsanam
Posted on: Oct 27, 2013 at 15:22 IST

1. India is wrong to engage with a President who has been accused of suspected war
criminal by respectable and prime time television news media in western countries.
2. India is wrong to ignore the sentiments of its South Indian citizens thereby sowing
seeds for future political problems.
3. India is wrong to engage with a country that still continues with army dentention,
torture, sexual crimes. Recently BBC reported in primetime news, interviewing such
victims.
4. It must support its own Tamil citizens and support a UN referendum of Sri Lankan
Tamils in the island and outside for a respectable and long lasting political solution.
5. To reconcile with the victims of the war it must support an unending request for
an international probe by the UN into suspected warcrimes & rights abuses and
breaking international laws.
6. If the Indian Foreign Minster still adamant that he needs to go then he should
make advance warning that India intends to demand items 4 & 5 above.

from:  Kumar
Posted on: Oct 27, 2013 at 14:35 IST

we understood why we kneeled before US but what is the need of kneeling before sri lanka?

from:  Raju
Posted on: Oct 27, 2013 at 12:52 IST

In spite of Sri Lanka's intransigence and go-slow tactics
we should not go hostile towards that county and drive them into the
open,welcoming arms of Pakistan and China.

from:  Sathya Pararth
Posted on: Oct 27, 2013 at 08:54 IST

It is not clear, how the Tamil Fishermen issue which has not yet been taken up at appropriate levels on bilateral basis, could draw adequate attention at a multilateral government's meeting?

from:  Raghavan
Posted on: Oct 27, 2013 at 08:18 IST

The position of the majority parties in Tamil Nadu State is based on
what took place in SriLanka and based on the emotional issues involved
in torment ,continous refugee status,loss of life,deprivation in
another majority country which Tamils would like to behave as if it is
a small State.The rectification at no stretch of imagination will come
in the form of substate within a larger country.The backward looking
people should understand the dynamics of being a large country like
India with other additions in time like being one of the big six in
the United Nations with sufficient Industrial power.That position will
graphically mean that India as a country is not a poverty stricken
dirty lungiclad country as some obtuse politicians want to project but
a modern state.It probably requires a change of saratorial exhibition
at Delhi to change the perception.It is quite cold at Delhi and the
weather is different in Delhi and not the continous tropical humid
atmosphere as in Colombo.

from:  Prof.Paul.V.John
Posted on: Oct 27, 2013 at 08:04 IST

The CHOGM summit itself has lost much of its relevance in recent years.Therefore,the Indian prime minister not attending it is neither here nor there.

from:  Vismaya George
Posted on: Oct 27, 2013 at 02:21 IST
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