Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, who is on a two-day official visit to Sri Lanka, said Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s participation at the CHOGM would be announced in due time.
“The decision will be announced by the Prime Minister’s Office. However I will participate at the Summit as the External Affairs Minister of India,” he told a news briefing held at the External Affairs Ministry here.
Mr. Khurshid appreciated the successful completion of the Northern Provincial Council Election and said the Sri Lankan Government should also hold a democratic dialogue with all stakeholders to bring about a meaningful devolution within the country.
“India has been consistent in calling for an early political settlement and national reconciliation through meaningful devolution of powers, so as to ensure that all citizens of Sri Lanka, including the Sri Lankan Tamil community, will lead a life marked by equality, justice, dignity and self-respect,” Mr. Khurshid said.
When asked whether a timeframe was stipulated by India for Sri Lanka to formulate the power devolution package, he said no such timeframe could be given.
“We are two sovereign countries that have a long history of cooperation, therefore we can’t put a timeframe for Sri Lanka to discuss its issues of devolution. Sri Lanka should decide when and how to discuss power devolution. India will help Sri Lanka to any extent that we can,” Mr. Khurshid said. (Dianne Silva & Lahiru Pothmulla)
(Pix by Pradeep Pathirana)