Wigneswaran denies urging Singh to attend CHOGM

Published: 31st October 2013 08:18 PM  |   Last Updated: 31st October 2013 08:21 PM   |  A+A-

C. V. Wigneswaran, Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s  Northern Province,  has denied that he had written to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urging him to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) to be held in Colombo in November.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the Wigneswaran’s Private Secretary A. Suntharalingam, said, "I write on the direction of Justice C. V. Wigneswaran , Chief Minister, Northern Provincial Council. He wants me to inform you that the personal letter of thanks sent by him to the Prime Minister of India had nothing to do with CHOGM. He had no doubt invited the Honourable Prime Minister whenever he visits Sri Lanka, to visit Jaffna. Nowhere has the CHOGM been mentioned in the letter.”

“It (the letter) was sent soon after the first sitting of the Members of the Provincial Council took place. It was common courtesy to thank those who helped you and to invite them to your area of influence. It was unfortunate that reference was made with statements made by Hon. Kurshid in this regard.”

Wigneswaran was reacting to articles written in a leading English daily in which it was said that he had urged Singh to attend CHOGM.

One of the articles had said: “At a time when the newly sworn-in Provincial Chief Minister, C.V. Wigneswaran, has rejected calls to boycott the Colombo CHOGM, and expressed hopes that Dr. Singh will attend, it will be hard to explain that India’s concerns for Sri Lankan Tamils outweigh the concerns of their own democratically elected government.”

The two articles written in the same daily in quick succession, dragging Wignewaran into the tussle over Singh’s participation in CHOGM, had greatly embarrassed the new Chief Minister. His critics in the TNA have been dubbing him as a camp follower of either Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa or India because of his practical and accommodative approach.

Reports of Wigneswaran’s “urging” Singh to attend CHOGM when the TNA had already announced its decision not to officially participate in the functions organized as part of the summit, had been used by his detractors to pull him down in the eyes of the Tamil public.

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