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PM’s CHOGM visit still under consideration: MEA

New Delhi, Oct.31 (ANI): Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said the process for deciding whether Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in November, is in motion, and added that its outcome would be shared once finalized.

Responding to reports in the media that Prime Minister Singh will visit Colombo in spite of opposition from Tamil Nadu lawmakers, Akbaruddin said: ” I can confirm to you that a process has been set in motion to arrive at a decision on this matter. We are taking into consideration all aspects of our national interest, our foreign policy priorities and our international obligations.”

“I can also confirm to you, that process has not reached its culmination. Once the process reaches its culmination, we will share the outcome with you,” he added.

Earlier this week, the Congress Core Committee discussed the Prime Minister’s proposed visit, keeping in mind the country’s strategic relations with Sri Lanka, and also the sentiments of the people in Tamil Nadu, who have been demanding that India boycott CHOGM over human rights abuse and war crimes against Sri Lankan Tamils.

The Tamil Nadu state assembly on October 24 unanimously passed a resolution urging the Union Government to boycott CHOGM, which would be held in Colombo in November.

The resolution said India should not send even representatives for the meeting being hosted by Sri Lanka. “The Indian Government should also take steps to get Sri Lanka suspended from the CHOGM until the Island nation ensures Tamils get equal rights at par with the Sinhalese,” the resolution said.

This resolution, which was moved by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, was hailed by many political parties, including the DMK, the DMDK, the Congress, the CPI and the CPM.

Expressing regret over a resolution passed by the Tamil Nadu Assembly, Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to India, Prasad Kariyawasam had said the resolution is based on misinformation, and invited Tamil Nadu leaders to visit his country to assess the situation on ground themselves. (ANI)

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