Two more ministers oppose PM going to Sri Lanka

Published: 05 November, 2013 06:01 IST | IANS |

Two more central ministers have spoken out against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Sri Lanka to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), in view of that nation's alleged atrocities on Tamils

The government is yet to decide whether Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will attend the CHOGM summit Nov 15-17 in Colombo. Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office V. Narayanasamy said he had urged the prime minister to take a "good decision" in view of the sentiments of Tamils.

"I told him that the sentiments of Tamils on the issue were very high," Narayanasamy said. The minister, who represents Puducherry, which has a sizeable Tamil population, said he had urged the prime minister to consider not going to Sri Lanka to attend the CHOGM summit. 

Union Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan also hoped that the prime minister will take a decision keeping in view the sentiments of Tamils. "I hope the Prime Minister will take a good decision," she told reporters in Chennai Monday. Union Shipping Minister G.K. Vasan last week met the prime minister to apprise him of the views of the people in Tamil Nadu, and the resolution adopted by the state assembly demanding that India boycott the CHOGM summit.

However, Minister of State for Commerce E.M.S. Natchiappan said a "holistic view" needed to be taken of the prime minister's possible visit. "A holistic view needs to be taken which is in the interest of the nation, state and neighbourhood," Natchiappan told IANS.

He said a decision should be taken which enhances the status of Sri Lankan Tamils, who have suffered. He said the economic development of the Tamils should be borne in mind while taking a decision. Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram had said Saturday that a decision is yet to be taken on the prime minister attending CHOGM. DMK president M. Karunanidhi said the Congress would "face consequences" if the prime minister participated in the summit. 

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