Home English News Sri Lanka Wants India’s “Highest Level Of Participation” In CHOGM: Foreign Minister

Sri Lanka Wants India’s “Highest Level Of Participation” In CHOGM: Foreign Minister


NEW DELHI, Aug 19  – Sri Lanka hopes for the highest level of participation from India for the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) meeting from Nov 15 to 17 in the country, said its Foreign Minister G.L Peiris (photo).

Sri Lanka is keen to have India’s participation despite calls from political parties in southern state Tamil Nadu to boycott the event on grounds of human rights violation of Tamils in the country.

“It is up to India to decide (on the call to boycott) but we would like India’s participation at the highest level,” said the minister who is here to officially extend an invitation to Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.


29_Minister_G__L___1443211fSpeaking to reporters at a press conference on Sunday, Peiris said: “It is almost after 24 years that CHOGM is taking place in Asia. We would very much like Manmohan to be present.”

Besides having a huge strength in CHOGM, India’s bilateral relationship is also important for the country amid historical ties, said the foreign minister.

“No country has said it will not be participating in the meeting so far,” Peiris said.

He said there has also been “unprecedented economic development” especially in the conflict-hit Northern Province.

This includes the 296,000 displaced people who have been resettled in the province, and some 11,700 Tamil Tigers “ex-combatants” including children who were exposed to various programmes and given vocational training.

“Banks and financial companies have also been opened up in the Northern Province. Loans are being given out for small and medium enterprises,” he said.

Peiris said Sri Lanka has the “fastest progress post crisis” compared with countries such as Yugoslavia and Cambodia but there seems to be “continous pressure on the country”.

“We encourage people to see for themselves the progress the country has made over a short span of four years (after the conflict) rather then be guided by propagandas,” he added.