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Wednesday, 06 November 2013 - 8:21
Update : Video : Manmohan Singh's decision is a grave diplomatic error; Indian news papers criticise severely. CHOGM - 2013
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A number of leading newspapers published in India say that India has committed a grave diplomatic error.

BBC has reported about this today citing these newspapers.

These reports say that the Indian Prime Minister has informed the Sri Lankan President in writing that he would not be participating in the summit.

These reports say that this decision has been taken based on an internal Indian political problem.

These reports point out that accordingly the Indian Prime Minister could be considered the second Commonwealth head of government boycotting CHOGM held in Colombo.

Prior to this Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper had said that he would boycott the Colombo Commonwealth Summit.

The newspaper Decan Herald published in India has put forward a severe criticism about the Indian Prime Minister’s decision.  

The newspaper has pointed out that this is a grave diplomatic flaw.

In addition this newspaper points out that it is totally wrong to sacrifice a country’s foreign policy for the sake of local regional political parties.

The Times of India identifies Indian Prime Minister’s decision as popular decision taken by a weak government in the run-up to an election.

The Newspaper “The Hindu” points out that due to this decision of India there is a greater chance for other powerful states of the region including China to get closer to Sri Lanka.

Update : Tuesday, 12 November 2013 - 7:51 AM
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Reasons for Manmohan Singh’s decision revealed.

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid will now head the Indian delegation at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting on the 15th of November.

Indian Foreign Minister Salman Kurshid says that decisions taken at a diplomatic level should be serious ones.

The Indian Foreign Minister said so while expressing his views to Indian media about Indian Prime Minister Manmohansingh’s non-participation in the CHOGM.

On this occasion the Indian Foreign Minister said that India hoped to work with Sri Lanka with uninterrupted cooperation.

The Indian Foreign Minister further stated that both countries had contributed immensely for increasing regional cooperation.

Minister of the Indian Premier’s Office V. Narayan Swamy says that several factors have impacted towards the Indian Prime Minister’s non-participation at the Colombo summit.

Participating in a discussion with the BBC Tamil Service, the Minister said that Prime Minister Manmohansingh had taken this decision according to a request made by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, the Opposition Leader and the Congress Party leadership.

Update : Monday, 11 November 2013 - 8:18
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 Indian Premier writes to the President.



Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wrote to President Mahinda Rajapaksa regretting his inability to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting from November 15th.


Dr. Singh has written a short letter to President Rajapaksa informing him of his decision not to attend the CHOGM meet.

According to sources the letter will be delivered to President by the Indian High Commission in Colombo.


However, it is believed that the letter, whose contents were not disclosed, does not talk about the reasons for Dr. Singh skipping the meet.

The Prime Minister has decided against undertaking the visit in view of the opposition by parties in Tamil Nadu as well as a section in Congress.

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid will head the Indian delegation at the CHOGM Summit on November 15th to 16th.


Sunday, 10 November 2013 - 7:16 PM
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Manmohan to skip Commonwealth - Foreign Minister Kurshid to head Indian delegation

Indian External affairs minister Salman Khurshid will head the Indian delegation at the CHOGM to be held in Sri Lanka next week.

Bowing to political pressure, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will not be attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Colombo.

This came at the end of a day in which the Indian government dropped ample hints that it was not necessary for the Prime Minister to attend every commonwealth conclave.

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, who is anyway going to Colombo mid-week, will therefore represent India at CHOGM.

Meanwhile, a senior Congress functionary stressed that it was not important for the Prime Minister to attend CHOGM, especially if it went against the sentiments of a section of the Indian population — the people of Tamil Nadu, in this case.

For the Congress, with a difficult election ahead in 2014, the goodwill of potential alliance partners is of paramount concern.


Update
Sunday, 10 November 2013 - 7:49

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Decision on Manmohans presence to be revealed once informed to Sri Lanka



Amid doubt on whether Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would attend the CHOGM summit in Sri Lanka, the Indian External Affairs Ministry said no decision has been taken on the visit which has been opposed by parties in Tamil Nadu.

Spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said the Indian government was yet to communicate to Sri Lanka who will lead the Indian delegation and did not give a direct reply when asked whether Vice President Hamid Ansari would go there if Singh decides to skip the meet.

Akrabuddin said a decision on the matter has not been conveyed to Sri Lanka yet.

At a meeting of the Congress Core group at the residence of Prime Minister on, a view had emerged that it would be "difficult" for Singh to visit Sri Lanka at this juncture.




Saturday, 09 November 2013 - 7:31 PM


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Signs of Manmohan Singh bowing to Tamil Nadu pressure

Indian media reports that the Indian Premier Manmohan Singh may not take part in the Commonwealth Heads of Government  Meeting which will be held in Sri Lanka in the face of pressure exerted by Tamil Nadu and cabinet members representing Tamil Nadu.

 

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh engaged in a crucial talks with the core group of the Congress party including Sonia Gandhi y yesterday in order to arrive at a decision in this regard.

 

The Hindustan Times reports that during the discussion which was held over one and a half hours, Defence Minister K. A. Anthony and Finance Minster P. Chidambaram had vehemently opposed to Premier Manmohan Singh taking part in the CHOGM summit.

 

M. Karunanidhi, the leader of the DMK party which is the ally of the Congress party had issued a new warning prior to the meeting and Indian media reports that the statement made by M. Karunanidhi heavily influenced the meeting.

 

Quoting government sources Indian media stated that the Indian Minister of External Affairs Salman Kurshid will represent India and that Premier Singh will not take part in the summit although no official statement was issued subsequent to the congress party meeting.

 

However, speaking at a press conference held yesterday, Party Leader Randeep Singh Surjewala stated that Premier Manmohan Singh will take an appropriate decision based on national requirements.

Saturday, 09 November 2013 - 9:35 AM

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Decision on Indian Premier’s Colombo visit postponed again.

Indian Media reported this afternoon that a final decision on Indian Prime Minster Manmohan Singh’s Colombo visit will be announced before the end of this week.

Ruling Congress party leaders met in New Delhi this morning for the second time in order to take a final decision over Manmohan Singh’s participation in the CHOGM in Colombo.

Indian Media reported that Congress Party leader Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Ministry officials participated in this crucial meeting today.

The Ministry officials submitted a detailed report on Prime Minster’s CHOGM itinerary in Sri Lanka to the meeting, and a visit by the Indian Premier to the Northern peninsular of the island was also included in the report.

However the ruling Congress Party was compelled to weigh up the objections by Tamil Nadu politicians as a general election is scheduled for next year.

Friday, 08 November 2013 - 19:28 PM
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New Delhi is having a decisive meeting on Manmohan Singh's Sri Lanka visit.


Indian Congress party leaders including party leader Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh are having a discussion in New Delhi to take a decision on the Premier’s proposed visit to Sri Lanka.

 

Earlier, Indian Foreign Affairs Ministry has recommended that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should participate in the forthcoming CHOGM in Colombo.

 

However the ruling Congress Party was compelled to weigh up the objections that were raised by Tamil Nadu politicians who focus more on the forthcoming election.

 

India has earmarked 2014 as an election year, and several top level ministers of the Indian government have raised objections to Manmohan Singh’s Sri Lanka visit, apparently that it would bring a negative impact on the party election results.

Update Friday, 08 November 2013 - 12:42 PM
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Manmohan Singh's Sri Lankan visit still a curiosity.

A final call on Manmohan Singh’s trip to Colombo to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting will be taken by the Prime Minister himself, the Ministry of External Affairs, and Congress president Sonia Gandhi, even as opinion was divided in the Union Cabinet and the Congress Core Group.

 

Congress sources said the decision will be taken, after weighing the conflicting views of the people of Tamil Nadu, reflected in stands taken by Congress and DMK leaders, on the one hand, and maintaining good relations with a neighbour, on the other.

 

The Prime Minister’s trip, could jeopardise the Congress chances of finding an ally in Tamil Nadu for the next general election.

 

At its last meeting on October 30th, Defence Minister A.K. Antony and Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram expressed their reservations about Dr. Singh travelling to Colombo.

 

Support for the visit, however, came from Minister of State for Commerce and Industry and Congress MP from Tamil Nadu E.M. Sudarsana Natchiappan, who met Dr. Singh and explained how India would be in an advantageous position if he attended CHOGM.

 

Asked why his colleagues G.K. Vasan, V. Narayanasamy and Jayanthi Natarajan were opposing Dr. Singh’s visit while he favoured it, Natchiappan quipped: “It is part of the democratic process in the Congress.

 

If peace returned and development took place in the Tamil areas in Sri Lanka, it would be advantageous for Tamil Nadu in the form of more industrial investments.

Friday, 08 November 2013 - 7:55 AM
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Indian PM should participate in CHOGM says Asian Human Rights Commission.

The Asian Centre for Human Rights today urged Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting to be held in Colombo.

CHOGM 2013 will take place with or without Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and that President Mahinda Rajapakse will lead the Commonwealth for the next two years, is a foregone conclusion.

Suhas Chakma, Director of the Asian Centre for Human Rights states that Dr. Singh should therefore attend the CHOGM 2013 and emphasize that accountability for alleged human rights violations as found out by the UN Secretary General’s Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka is the only means for national reconciliation in Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile, a three-member delegation from Tamil Nadu unit of BJP met party president Rajnath Singh and strongly opposed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Sri Lanka to participate in the CHOGM.

The meeting came against the backdrop of reports about a few BJP leaders voicing their support for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s participation in the Commonwealth Summit and protests have intensified in Tamil Nadu demanding that India boycott the CHOGM.

However, a decision on the participation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the CHOGM Summit in Sri Lanka is likely to be taken today.


The matter was discussed in the Congress core group meeting last week and is again likely to figure today in the Cabinet meeting where a final call may be taken.


Thursday, 07 November 2013 - 7:15 PM

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Manmohan singh's final decision about Colombo visit today.

A decision on the participation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the CHOGM Summit in Sri Lanka is likely to be taken today.


Political parties and various groups in Tamil Nadu are strongly opposed to India's participation in the summit and the Tamil Nadu Assembly recently adopted a resolution demanding a complete boycott of the event.


The matter was discussed in Congress core group meeting last week and is again likely to figure today in the Cabinet meeting where a final call may be taken.

However, Congress has already said the decision on whether to participate in Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting was left to the Prime Minister.

The party's response came in the backdrop of growing voices within the Cabinet against Singh visiting Sri Lanka with two more ministers -Minister of State V Narayanasamy and Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan- openly opposing his proposed visit, joining their Cabinet colleague G K Vasan.

However, at the same time, another Congress leader from Tamil Nadu S Natchiappan, who is Minister of State for Commerce, has been striking a different note.
He said Singh should visit Sri Lanka for the welfare of Lankan Tamils.

Asked whether the decision on Singh's participation in CHOGM was taken, the Spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry said the process was fairly in advance stage.



Thursday, 07 November 2013 - 8:18 AM

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Indian External Affairs Ministry pushes Manmohan Singh's Colombo visit.

India's Foreign Ministry has proposed a visit to Jaffna as a compromise formula to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh who is under pressure from Tamil groups including ministers in his Cabinet to boycott the Commonwealth meet to be held in Colombo on November 15th.

 

Sources said the Foreign Ministry is keen on Dr Singh attending the meeting of the leaders of the Commonwealth nations in Sri Lanka.

 

As a compromise formula, the Foreign Ministry says Dr Singh may include the Tamil-dominated Jaffna city in northern Sri Lanka in his itinerary to placate the Tamil sentiment in India.

 

Sources said The Prime Minister's Office has not taken any decision on the Foreign Ministry formula yet.

 

Union ministers from Tamil Nadu - Jayanthi Natarajan, P Chidambaram and GK Vasan - had requested the Prime Minister to skip the meeting, with Chidambaram asking him to send a representative instead.

Wednesday, 06 November 2013 - 12:45 PM

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Indian  Foreign ministry proposes Prime Minister's Jaffna visit as compromise formula

India's Foreign Ministry has proposed a visit to Jaffna as a compromise formula to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh who is under pressure from Tamil groups including ministers in his Cabinet to boycott the Commonwealth meet to be held in Colombo on November 15th.

 

Sources said the Foreign Ministry is keen on Dr Singh attending the meeting of the leaders of the Commonwealth nations in Sri Lanka.

 

As a compromise formula, the Foreign Ministry says Dr Singh may include the Tamil-dominated Jaffna city in northern Sri Lanka in his itinerary to placate the Tamil sentiment in India.

 

sources said The Prime Minister's Office has not taken any decision on the Foreign Ministry formula yet.

 

Union ministers from Tamil Nadu - Jayanthi Natarajan, P Chidambaram and GK Vasan - had requested the Prime Minister to skip the meeting, with Chidambaram asking him to send a representative instead.
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