COLOMBO: There is speculation here as to whether SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa will meet PM Narendra Modi at the open-ended meeting of Commonwealth Heads of Government on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session at New York later this month.
The Commonwealth is to hold an open-ended meeting of the Heads of Government to discuss CHOGM reform and the post-2015 development agenda on September 25. As the chairman of CHOGM, Rajapaksa will chair the session.
However, there is doubt as to whether Modi will attend it. He is to address the General Assembly on September 27 and is to meet President Barack Obama at Washington on September 29 and 30. If he is to arrive in the US on September 26, as it is expected, he will be skipping the New York CHOGM.
Officials here explained that it is not necessary for every Head of Government to be present at such meetings. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who will be in New York before the Prime Minister, could well represent India, they said.
It is not clear as to how long President Rajapaksa will be in the US. All that is known till now is that he will be addressing the General Assembly on September 25. Hence the speculation as to whether a Modi-Rajapaksa will take place.