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Dont criticise Singh on CHOGM : Mahinda Rajapaksa

Chennai, Nov 11 (): CHOGM and India continue to be Sri Lankan media’s favourite topics.

Indian PM not participating in CHOGM has been criticized and Singh has been depicted as a weak person bowing to local pressure. Anti-insurgency expert Rohan Gunaratna, who has also been involved in the rehabilitation of the ex-LTTE cadres, has appealed to Sri Lankans not to criticize Indian PM Manmohan Singh for his not attending the CHOGM to start in Colombo on November 15.

Rohan told a newspaper that Sri Lankans must realize that Manmohan Singh is not against their country and is definitely a friend of Sri Lanka. If Singh has decided against coming to CHOGM, it is only because of political compulsions of his party to win seats from Tamil Nadu in the next Lok Sabha parliamentary elections, he told the Express on Sunday.

He said Lankans should be sympathetic to Singh and help him survive. Rohan is currently the head of Singapore-based International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research.

Gunaratna said that Lankans should realize that New Delhi had come a long way from the Indira Gandhi era when India aided and abetted the LTTE in Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile, reports say the Lankan Presidential Secretariat said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa, being sensitive to the demands of Singh’s political constituency, understood the political pressure faced by the Indian Prime Minister. Rajapaksa had asked his cabinet ministers not to make anti –India statements over CHOGM, the sources said.

In the editorial comments and cartoons in the Lankan media, Singh is shown as being desperate to attend CHOGM but is prevented by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and other Tamil politicians in the State and Centre.

Giving the Tamil view, TNA MP E Saravanapavan from Jaffna, said that Singh’s decision to boycott CHOGM has sent a strong signal to Rajapaksa to implement the LLRC recommendations of his own.

Tamil outfits are not happy with India attending CHOGM and has decided to disrupt Union Ministers’ meeting in the State.