Menu

WORLD

Indian prime minister to boycott Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka over human rights issue

An Indian official says Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has decided against attending a Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka next week over the island nation's human rights record.

Singh will be the second leader after Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to boycott the Nov. 15-17 meeting. There are 54 members of the Commonwealth, a loose association of former British colonies.

Their decision is expected to sharpen focus on the demand by Western nations that Sri Lanka account for thousands of civilians who are suspected to have died in the final months of a civil war that ended in 2009 when government forces crushed separatist Tamil rebels.

New Delhi will announce Singh's decision by Monday, the official said Sunday on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to talk to reporters.