Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will not be here for Sri Lanka’s
60th Independence Anniversary celebration on February 4, the
Colombo foreign office has been told.
The bad news, attributed to ``scheduling
difficulties’’ as well as Singh’s indifferent health at present,
has been interpreted in well informed diplomatic circles as
party due to umbrage that Sri Lanka had announced a visit
without confirmation from New Delhi as well as unhappiness about
foot-dragging on the presentation of political proposals for the
resolution of the National Question.
"India does not like being taken for granted,’’
a seasoned diplomat commented.
Sri Lanka’s concerns about the Indian reaction
to government’s decision last week to withdraw from the
Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) with the LTTE was evident by the fact
that the Indian high commissioner here, Mr. Alok Prasad, was
appraised of the decision a few minutes before formal notice of
withdrawal was presented to the Norwegian ambassador in terms of
The Indian High Commissioner and Deputy High
Commissioner Manikkam met Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama
at 5 p.m. on Thursday while he saw the Norwegian ambassador 30
minutes later and the four co-chairs of the peace process (US,
Japan, Norway and the EU) at 6.30 pm.
"Of course they would have known all about it
from the media before the formal word was given by the foreign
minister,’’ an analyst said.
Well informed diplomatic sources said that
although India has not reacted publicly to Colombo’s decision to
pull out of the CFA, the Indian view had been communicated to
While several foreign countries including the
US, Canada and the Scandinavian countries have expressed regret
and concern, as has UN Secretary General Bai Ki Moon, India for
reasons that diplomatic sources said was a desire not to
embarrass Colombo has so far not gone public with its views.
"Whether the South Block (as India’s External
Affairs Ministry is commonly described) will choose to leak
something to a trusted newspaper like The Hindu in the next few
days remains to be seen,’’ these sources said.
In private conversations, Indian diplomats have
expressed dismay about the development as have many other