PM noncommittal on attending Commonwealth meet in Sri Lanka

India`s participation in the Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka next month would be decided upon after considering all factors, including sentiments of Tamils and the DMK, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh assured Tuesday.

Chennai: India`s participation in the Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka next month would be decided upon after considering all factors, including sentiments of Tamils and the DMK, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh assured Tuesday.

There has been speculation over India`s participation in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), scheduled to take place in Sri Lanka next month, and the prime minister conveyed his assurance in a letter to DMK president M Karunanidhi. A copy of the letter was released to the media here.

In his letter Manmohan Singh said: "I wish to inform you that a decision on the issue of my participation in the CHOGM conference will be taken only after considering all relevant factors, including the sentiments of your party and the Tamil people."

Singh also urged the DMK chief to use his good offices to persuade K Thiagarajan (Thiagu), general secretary, Tamil National Liberation Movement, to call off his fast.

Thiagarajan is on hunger-strike, demanding that Manmohan Singh not attend the CHOGM to be held in Colombo this November.

On Monday, DMK`s leader in parliament TR Baalu met the Prime Minister and conveyed the feeling of Karunanidhi and the DMK that he should not attend the summit in Colombo.

Political parties and even Congress leaders from Tamil Nadu have demanded that India should boycott the CHOGM event.

In March this year, the DMK had quit the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the centre, voicing its dismay over the Indian government`s policy on Sri Lanka.

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