Indian parliament trust vote has no impact on SAARC: Sri Lanka

July 21st, 2008 - 10:33 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh
By P. Karunakharan
Colombo, July 21 (IANS) The Sri Lankan government Monday expressed confidence that the trust vote on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government in India “will not have any impact on the schedule of the SAARC summit”, scheduled to open here Aug 2. “We deal with the states of the SAARC forum and all states have governments, whether it is interim or otherwise. Irrespective of what happens in India tomorrow (to the Manmohan Singh government), the head of state of India will attend the upcoming SAARC summit,” Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama told reporters here Monday.

Minister Bogollagama made the remarks while responding to a question whether Sri Lanka was concerned about the survival of the Congress-led coalition government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, which is facing a major political crisis in terms of a crucial confident vote in parliament Tuesday.

“It (the outcome of the trust vote) has no relevance to the conduct of 15th South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit here in Colombo,” Minister Bogollagama added.

Describing the hosting of the 15th SAARC summit as a “significant moment” in the history of the island nation, he said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa “is happy to showcase Sri Lanka to the international community” his government’s successes in the East of the country and the advances in the North to restore normalcy.

He said all the arrangements have been finalised to host the summit, which would be covered by hundreds of journalists around the globe.

He said he was “totally unaware” of media reports that Indian naval ships and war planes would arrive in Sri Lanka to give protection to the visiting Indian prime minister and his delegation.

“I am not aware of any ships coming here. All what I can say is that we are quite satisfied with the security arrangements made by the Sri Lankan police and the armed forces to provide adequate security to cover the summit,” he said.

He, however, said that it is customary that any head of state take or bring his or her security when undertaking foreign trips.

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