Chidambaram suggests PM should opt out of CHOGM - The New Indian Express

Chidambaram suggests PM should opt out of CHOGM

Published: 02nd November 2013 12:03 PM

Last Updated: 02nd November 2013 12:05 PM

Admitting the government was “aware” of the voices of opposition from ministers of Tamil Nadu on the Prime Minister’s proposed visit to attend the CHOGM in Sri Lanka, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said, “The  party/government will take a decision.”

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin had on Thursday indicated that all stakeholders will be consulted before a final decision on the level of participation is made.

According to sources, the Finance Minister has also expressed concern about the level of participation. Though he has not opposed India’s participation at CHOGM, which is a multi-lateral summit in which 38 other countries are participating, sources in the know said he’s of the view that the Prime Minister should give it a miss to scale down the level of participation.

Sources also indicated that as an MP from Tamil Nadu he feels that the government needs to factor in the State’s interest and public opinion. A view that has support of the Tamil Nadu Congress leaders as well, who feel that the Rajapaksa government deserves to be “rebuked” - not just for slow progress in rehabilitation of Tamils in Sri Lanka but also for its human rights record.

Meanwhile, PMO and MEA officials pointed out that Sri Lanka Northern Province Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran is most certainly going to attend the CHOGM opening ceremony, to prop up their argument that the PM too should attend the meet. “What may happen is, the PM may scale down his visit and be there only for a few hours.”

In a letter to the Prime Minister, a copy of which was released by the foreign ministry, Wigneswaran has credited India for persuading Colombo to hold the Provincial Council elections which he won with a sizable majority.

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