Dec 02, Colombo: Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) said today that it will oppose the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visiting the country on an invitation extended by the Northern Province Chief Minister.
A senior leader of UNP, parliamentarian John Amaratunga said the party will oppose the Indian PM accepting an invitation from the Chief Minister C.V. Vigneswaran after Singh rejected the President's invitation to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting held last month in Colombo.
Amaratunga said in parliament that the government must not allow the Indian PM to visit the country on an invitation of the Northern Chief Minister since it would be a part of an effort to weaken ties between the two countries.
"This should not be allowed to happen. How could the Indian PM be allowed to visit the country without an invitation from the President after he skipped CHOGM?" Amaratunga asked.
Sri Lanka's External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris flew to New Delhi to personally invite the Indian PM to the Commonwealth Summit. However, the PM decided to skip the summit bowing to the pressure from Tamil political parties in Tamil Nadu to boycott the summit.
The Chief Minister also extended an invitation to the Indian PM last month to visit Sri Lanka, especially Jaffna. He said the invitation to PM to visit Jaffna was in gratitude for India's efforts in securing the elections in the Northern Province and an honest effort to build a close relationship between India and the Province.