PM`s decision no reflection on India-Sri Lankan relations: Foreign Secretary
India on Thursday made it clear that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s absence at the CHOGM summit here is no reflection of the importance it attaches to the relationship with Sri Lanka.
Colombo: India on Thursday made it clear that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s absence at the CHOGM summit here is no reflection of the importance it attaches to the relationship with Sri Lanka.
Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh also suggested that India conveys its concerns on alleged human rights violations against Tamils of the island.
"We expect our relationship with Sri Lanka to continue in a strong way. I don`t think anything has changed (due to the Prime Minister`s decision). It is no reflection of the importance that we attach to the relationship," she said.
Singh was speaking to reporters after meetings with her Sri Lankan counterpart Karunatilaka Amalagama and a delegation of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) that rules the Northern Province.
She was asked about the possible impact of Singh`s decision to call off plans to attend the Commonwealth Heads Of Government Meeting in the wake of stiff opposition from Tamil Nadu and what impact this would have on bilateral ties.
Singh was also asked whether India, unlike Canada, Britain and Mauritius, privately conveys concerns over rights violations levelled against the Sri Lankan government in the war against the LTTE.
"Do you expect me to say in public what we tell (Sri Lanka) privately??We talk to Sri Lanka.?We take up all issues and matters. There are different ways of expressing concerns," she replied.
"Some countries talk (about it) and some don`t talk. India has a different style. We do what we have to and we have our own way."
Singh said in her meeting with the TNA delegation headed by veteran leader R Sambanthan, she indicated the importance India attaches to the relationship with Sri Lankan Tamils. She also discussed projects for the community and ways to further assist them.
Asked if the TNA leaders were satisfied with what India told them, Singh said they were appreciative of the role played by India, especially in the Northern Province.
External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid will represent India at the CHOGM summit beginning tomorrow.