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Extremists may derail India-Lanka ties

This refers to media reports that legislative assembly in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu has urged the federal government to respect the sentiments of Tamils and boycott the Commonwealth summit scheduled to be held in Sri Lanka next month.
The assembly also urged New Delhi not to send any representatives to the Commonwealth Heads Of Government Meeting (CHOGM).
It will be unfortunate if Prime Minister Manmohan Singh decides to keep away from this event. It has to be noted that summit is being held in Asia after 30 years.
It is critical that India and Sri Lanka retain a meaningful and close relationship despite the issues that sometimes arise between them.
Particularly during elections, Sri Lanka figures large in Indian power politics. Colombo’s cordial relationship with Beijing also has become an issue for other countries because of wrong perceptions about the nature of China’s influence on the island.
The Sri Lanka government rightly believes that re-emergence of terrorism was still a threat.
Several overseas based LTTE-linked groups are allegedly coordinated by the Global Tamils Forum.
Their intention is the division of Sri Lanka and the establishment of a separate state.
A persistent Indian diplomatic effort and growing trust and confidence between New Delhi and Colombo eventually led to provincial elections in the Northern Province last month.
Northern Province Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran and his colleagues in Jaffna are also keen that Manmohan Singh visits Jaffna, after the summit in Colombo, to discuss their concerns and developmental needs.
The Indian federal government must take a responsible decision on the summit in the wake of extremist demands emerging from the state of Tamil Nadu.
Peaceful Sri Lanka has now become a favorite destination in South Asia for foreign investors.
Sri Lanka’s neighboring states such as India and Pakistan must provide maximum support to this friendly state. — M. Cassim, Jeddah

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