Notwithstanding the demand of political parties in Tamil Nadu for complete boycott, external affairs minister Salman Khurshid arrived in Combo on Wednesday on a five-day visit to represent India at the CHOGM Summit.
Accompanied by foreign secretary Sujatha Singh, he arrived in a special aircraft and was received at the Bandaranaike International Airport by Sri Lankan Deputy Minister for Civil Aviation Gunaratne.
Talking to reporters on board the aircraft, Khurshid justified India's decision to participate in the CHOGM Summit, saying it has to remain engaged with Sri Lanka on various issues including those related to ethnic Tamils.
He said it was in national interest that government has decided to participate in the CHOGM Summit in Sri Lanka.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had decided not to attend the meet, taking into consideration the sentiments of the Tamils.
Expressing anguish over India's decision to participate in the CHOGM in Sri Lanka, Tamil Nadu Assembly had yesterday passed a resolution at its emergent session demanding "complete boycott" of the summit.
The resolution moved by chief minister J Jayalalithaa was passed by voice vote even as Congress, Puthiya Tamizhagam and CPI-M members were not present while the PMK chose to boycott the session.
On October 24, the Tamil Nadu Assembly had passed a similar resolution calling for India's total boycott of the summit over alleged "genocide" of Tamils in Sri Lanka and its failure to grant them equal rights.