Jaya, Karuna want India to skip Colombo CHOGM
Chennai: Amid protests in support of Sri Lankan Tamils in Tamil Nadu, both ruling AIADMK and Karunanidhi-led DMK on Monday mounted pressure on the Centre demanding that India boycott the CHOGM to be held in Colombo this November.
"At the very least, India must stay away from the CHOGM to be held in Colombo and, thereby, exert pressure on Sri Lanka to do justice by its hapless, much exploited Tamil Minorities", Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Her letter to Singh came soon after a meeting of the DMK Executive, chaired by its chief M Karunanidhi, asked New Delhi to boycott the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting to reflect the sentiments of Tamils worldover and to keep up the democratic spirits.
When some countries had decided against attending CHOGM, "India without any hesitation should announce its decision about boycott immediately," the DMK meeting said in a resolution.
"...Any high level participation or engagement from the Indian side in the CHOGM will not only embolden the Sri Lankan regime but also incense public opinion and sentiment in Tamil Nadu on this very sensitive issue even further", Jayalalithaa said in her strongly-worded letter.
The proposed CHOGM in Colombo was another opportune occasion for India to ratchet up further pressure on Sri Lanka to ensure that accountability was established under an international framework for the "war crimes and genocide committed in the closing stages of the civil war and the ongoing gross human rights abuses", she said.
"As an emerging great power and an aspirant for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council, India has a duty to ensure that the values of democracy and respect for human rights are upheld anywhere in the world and in particular in its neighbourhood", she said.
Jayalalithaa said India should ask for shifting of the venue to another country and "if India takes this diplomatic initiative there is likely to be broad based support amongst member countries of the Commonwealth".
Students, advocates and some other pro-Tamil outfits have been observing protests and fast in the state over the past few days in support of the Lankan Tamils.
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