Nov 04, Colombo: Amid growing protests in Tamil Nadu demanding India to boycott the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka this month, the Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has come under increasing pressure from his own union ministers as well as from Tamil political parties to avoid participating in the event.
Indian PM, who has not decided yet on India's level of participation in the Commonwealth Summit yet, was urged by his own cabinet members to listen to the sentiments of people in Tamil Nadu.
Minister of State in the PMO V.Narayanasamy and Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan joined the Shipping Minister G.K.Vasan to openly oppose the PM attending the summit in Colombo.
The Congress Party meanwhile responding to media queries about the PM's participation said the PM will take a decision after consultations with the government.
Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid said last week that India will send a highest level of delegation to participate in the CHOGM and affirmed his participation but said he was not yet sure about the Prime Minister's attendance.
Khurshid said it is important for leaders to take "some things in their stride and look at the larger picture and the commitment that we all have to the Commonwealth."
However addressing the annual meeting of Indian Ambassadors and High Commissioners abroad in New Delhi today, the Prime Minister said India's foreign policy is not defined merely by its interests, but also by the values which are very dear to the Indian people.
Tamil political parties and pro-Tamil outfits in Tamil Nadu strongly oppose India's participation in the CHOGM demanding Sri Lanka to secure equal rights for the Tamils on par with the Sinhalese.
Tamil Nadu Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution last month asking the Indian government to respect the sentiment of the state's people and completely boycott the Commonwealth Meeting in Sri Lanka.