PM Manmohan Singh is unlikely to go to Colombo for the CHOGM summit as the Congress core group was divided over the issue. While the PMO and external affairs ministry hoped that incorporating a visit to Jaffna would help break the deadlock, none of the major political players in Tamil Nadu relented in their opposition to Singh travelling to Colombo. This left Congress leaders from the state with little option but to align themselves with the dominant political sentiment although a few argued that not going to Colombo may not serve the interests of Tamils in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka has made it clear that it will see Singh’s absence as a setback for ties, but it is felt that President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s actions have not made it any easier for the PM despite India’s obvious stakes in the its immediate neighbourhood and the Indian Ocean.
There has been concern that the PM not going to Colombo may also disadvantage the newly-installed chief minister of Sri Lanka’s Northern Province C V Wigneswaran, who had invited Singh to visit Jaffna.