Taking a difficult call, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is likely to go to Colombo to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting keeping in mind that it is in India's strategic interests to remain engaged in its neighbourhood, The Times of India reported.
The decision was firmed up after a meeting of the Congress core committee on Wednesday where the political fallout of the PM attending the CHOGM was evaluated in some detail before it was felt the benefits outweigh the downsides.
The decision is not an easy one for the government as the Tamil Nadu assembly has passed a resolution unanimously calling on India to boycott the CHOGM in view of issues related to Tamils in Sri Lanka. The resolution went further in demanding that India should move for Sri Lanka's suspension from CHOGM.
In taking a bold decision to go to Colombo despite political sentiments in Tamil Nadu, the PM has prioritized the need to ensure India does not lose vital clout with the Sri Lankan government allow other powers like China to gain stronger leverage.
The government has argued that even to influence Sri Lankan behaviour, and ensure a better deal for Tamils, India needs to retain its communication and clout with the Mahinda Rajapakse government.
While not travelling to Sri Lanka will be read as a severe snub to the island nation and can harm India's goodwill severely, the government is also leaning on the reported support of northern provincial council chief minister C V Wigneswaran for the PM attending the CHOGM.
In deciding to protect its key interests in the neighbourhood and the Indian Ocean region, the government has an eye on Pakistan as well. Islamabad does not have a large economic presence, but it can be expected to undercut India's interests in the CHOGM.
The Sri Lankan government has also been quite deft at flashing the China card at India and given the continuing crisis in Maldives, India may not be in a position to allow relations with Colombo to deteriorate.
Managing the domestic situation, admit sources, will be challenge but Congress hopes the situation may blow over by the time the Lok Sabha election is due in April, 2014.
There is bound to be a blow back and the backing the anti-Lanka resolution received from all opposition parties in the Tamil Nadu assembly, including the Congress, speaks volumes of the stakes involved.
Political sources said that while sentiments in Tamil Nadu remain raw, India has a task to ensure that Colombo delivers on meaningful devolution of power in the northern Sri Lanka and guarantee equal rights to its minorities.
The PM's decision to attend the CHOGM, it is hoped, will make Sri Lanka more amenable to make good its promises to New Delhi. (The Times of India)
Comments - 36
Nodrog Thursday, 31 October 2013 03:12 AM
So Sri lanka is more vital to India than Tamil nadu? The pro LTTE elements will be so disappointed.
Menuka Thursday, 31 October 2013 12:00 AM
You can not give up CHOGM whatever happens in Tamilnadu. Thats the truth. via DM Android App
Suq Madique Friday, 01 November 2013 12:31 AM
Dream on buddy...dream !
Asoka Friday, 01 November 2013 06:28 AM
Indian Prime Minister will come with Hanuman
azan Friday, 01 November 2013 01:25 AM
Ok what I don't understand why can't jealous lalitha focus on Tamil nadu people instead so much worry about srilankan Tamil, maybe she want srilankan tamils to be like Indian Tamil, if anybody been to Tamil nadu they know!!!
dharmapala Friday, 01 November 2013 01:30 AM
mr singh depend on MS sonia congress leader, he is not brave person man of shade character
dharmapala Friday, 01 November 2013 01:33 AM
prime minister political career is over with five months, he is a stooges of congress leader
Amal Thursday, 31 October 2013 01:12 PM
India is not in a position to fall out with srilanka . Her poor relationship with all her neighbours will one day be her down fall
Roshan WR Thursday, 31 October 2013 09:29 AM
Between the devil and the deep blue sea, Mr Prime minister, make up your mind.
durang Friday, 01 November 2013 02:05 AM
MANMOHAN SINGH IS SANWICHED BETWEEN TN AND THE DIPLOMACY.
Lima Thursday, 31 October 2013 04:24 AM
MANMOHAN , PLS BE ALERT , JAYALALITHA WILL HARM YOU BEFORE U COME TO SRI LANKA AND PUT THE BLAME ON LTTE , THIS IS GOING TO HAPPEN , WE SUSPECT. INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES KEEP A CLOSE EYE ON ALL MEETINGS , MOVEMENTS OF THAT FAT UNEDUCATED LADY
Suq Madique Thursday, 31 October 2013 01:24 PM
What a kick in the gut for TN and pro-LTTE elements.
siva Thursday, 31 October 2013 01:25 PM
nothing to thanks, srilanka on its way, to go with out India, if India so adamant, it will be pariah country to srilanka and not in a position to direct communicate with srilanka and china and Pakistan might get join with srilanka and it would be too bad for India, srilanka may done as said, but India responsible for blood flowed down in srilakan soil.though they demand, could not fulfill their prat in Indo-lanka treaty.
Saskia Thursday, 31 October 2013 01:32 PM
Get ready to accept the 13A.
Calistus Jayatilleke Thursday, 31 October 2013 09:47 AM
"Amma" gahai bat eken.
real Thursday, 31 October 2013 01:33 PM
Watch out over your shoulder when you are there!!!
jude Thursday, 31 October 2013 04:30 AM
Hey!!!, Good choice??!!!, PM Singh now sit next to David Cameron and ask those tough question from MR???!!!!!
sinha Thursday, 31 October 2013 04:32 AM
Simple rule. He will attend. But there will be stage drama and time waste to satisfy the TamilNadu.
Nihal Amarasekera Friday, 01 November 2013 07:48 AM
All hue and cry for nothing!!
kelum Thursday, 31 October 2013 04:34 AM
A blow to LTTE sympathizers, anti SL campaigners and regime haters. paw!
Dingimahattaya Thursday, 31 October 2013 10:00 AM
Manmohan is the big brother of Sri Lanka, cannot avoid him.
multicultural Thursday, 31 October 2013 02:50 PM
He has made a decision and with a solid backbone! It is clear who wants the pot to stay boiling all the time for their own TN political agenda.
neutral man Thursday, 31 October 2013 05:12 AM
thank you Dr. Singh much appreciated
neutral man Thursday, 31 October 2013 05:14 AM
someone put masuran in man's mouth well said!
chinaman Thursday, 31 October 2013 04:15 PM
Is it "yes" or "no" pleasw !!!!
jim pappa Thursday, 31 October 2013 04:17 PM
" He will attend huh? Over my dead body. " - Jayalalitha Jayaram.
kasun Thursday, 31 October 2013 05:33 AM
if he comes theres no way congress will win the next election
Nims Sunday, 03 November 2013 06:11 AM
Give that idiot Callum McRay a visa. Id like to see his face
Lucky Weeramantry Friday, 01 November 2013 09:29 AM
Great News Singh Is Coming. He Doesn't Want To Miss The Fun. And Also The Sri Lankan Hospitality
Lucky Weeramantry Friday, 01 November 2013 09:32 AM
Who Cares About Tamil Nadu. Singh Has Done The Works
Lucky Weeramantry Friday, 01 November 2013 09:42 AM
Welcome Sir!. India Can't Afford To Lose Sri Lanka. With All Other Enemies Around. Sri Lanka Is The Only Gate Way
MEEYA Thursday, 31 October 2013 11:12 AM
Best Leader.Wish you all the best
ANTON Thursday, 31 October 2013 02:58 AM
SIR, IF YOU ATTEND , YOU WILL BE THE MOST FEARLESS PERSON IN THIS PLANET AND YOU MIGHT GET THE NOBEL PRIZE FOR THE BRAVERY.
Kiris Baba Amaray Thursday, 31 October 2013 02:59 AM
Very good move Sir. You are welcome - we will spread the Special Red Carpet for you.
Kiris Baba Amaray Thursday, 31 October 2013 03:04 AM
Tamil issue is not atall here in SriLanka. Your own Indian origin (SriLankan Tamils) living in the Hill country lives with peace and harmony along with Sinhalese, except a few nasty TNA based Tamils (Pro-LTTE) lunatics creates trouble here. Other than that 95% SriLankan Tamils are supports and happy with Mahinda Rajapakshe's ruling.
Ravi Thursday, 31 October 2013 03:11 AM
This gentleman has no backbone, I don't' know how he is governing India, if he can't take a simple decision.
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