Suhasini Haidar has aptly put forth her arguments on why Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meet in Sri Lanka (“The case for making it to Colombo,” Oct. 29). India’s foreign policy objective of improving ties with its neighbours cannot be accomplished by staying away from important global platforms. India needs to work with Sri Lanka for the institutionalised devolution of powers to Tamils in the island nation. Rather than turning away from the problem, New Delhi should prevail upon Colombo to make concrete progress on reconciliation and political settlement.
India’s foreign policy on Sri Lanka has always been determined by Tamil Nadu. The foreign policy of a country should not come under pressure from a State or province. Dr. Singh should attend the CHOGM summit in the national interest.
A. Venkata Ramana Reddy,
The CHOGM summit has become controversial because of its venue. But it also presents an opportunity for India to nudge Sri Lanka to speed up relief and rehabilitation of Tamils there. New Delhi should continue to engage with Colombo and the new Tamil leadership in the Northern Province.
S. Siddharth Samson,
India has an image of a friendly nation. It should live up to that image. Sri Lanka is one of our closest neighbours.
India has played a decisive role in the rehabilitation process of Sri Lankan Tamils and the elections in the Northern Province elections. The Prime Minister’s absence from the summit will have a great impact on the friendly ties between the two nations.
India will not gain anything by staying away from CHOGM. On the other hand, by engaging Sri Lanka, we can try and find a solution to the problem faced by our fishermen at the hands of the Sri Lankan navy. An unfriendly attitude towards Sri Lanka will push it to build stronger ties with China and Pakistan.
S. Pon Senthil Kumaran,
The Tamil Nadu Assembly, which passed a resolution calling upon the Centre to boycott the CHOGM summit, is also a democratically elected body. That the article has not spoken about the massive rights violations committed by the Sri Lankan government during the last phase of Eelam war is disheartening.
The elections in the Northern Province were held to hoodwink the international community. The provincial government hardly has any power. Moreover, the TNA itself has called for a boycott of CHOGM. The sentiments of the people of an entire State cannot be ignored in the name of first principles of foreign policy.