A process has been set in motion to arrive at a decision on the level of Indian participation in the Commonwealth Heads of Governments Meeting in Colombo from November 15, India's Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday.
“We are taking into consideration all aspects of our national interest, our foreign policy priorities and our international obligations. The process has not reached its culmination. There is still some way down the track on this,” India's Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said.
The spokesperson confirmed that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had received a letter from Sri Lanka’s Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran, appreciating Indian assistance in ensuring that elections to the provincial council were held.
When asked whether it is usual for Chief Ministers of individual provinces in foreign countries to approach the Prime Minister directly and vice-versa, Mr. Akbaruddin said the relationship between India and Sri Lanka should not be characterized as “usual.”
“It is a very strong and close relationship, where India has worked with Sri Lanka on a variety of issues including welfare of the people in the northern areas who have been adversely impacted. So, let us not judge these things by the usual parameters of what you think are usual,” he replied.
“Our relationship with Sri Lanka is certainly unique and, therefore, our interaction is also in a way is distinct. And I think we should respect that distinctiveness and that is a distinctiveness that is reflected in our foreign policy and our approach towards Sri Lanka,” quoting Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson The Hindu reported .