Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Thursday sought to mount pressure on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for boycotting the upcoming CHOGM meet to be hosted by Sri Lanka next month in view of alleged human rights violations and discrimination against Tamil minority in that country.
“I strongly exhort you to ensure that the government of India stays away from the CHOGM in Colombo. This will exert diplomatic pressure on Sri Lanka to adopt a more reasonable approach towards its Tamil minority population” she said in her letter to Singh,the copies of which were released to the press here.
Quoting recent media reports in which the Prime Minister conveyed that he would keep in mind the sentiments of Tamil people in deciding on his participation in the CHOGM,Jayalalithaa said the view of Tamil Nadu was that India should not participate at any level whether titular,ministerial or official.
“Only such an action will convey India’s unequivocal stand that it will not tolerate the violation of human rights of the Sri Lankan Tamil minority. I hope you will respect the sentiments of the people of Tamil Nadu and unanimous view across party lines and convey India’s decision to stay away from the forthcoming CHOGM at Colombo in November”,she said.
Recently,the Prime Minister had reportedly communicated to DMK Chief M Karunanidhi through that party leader T R Balu that he would take a decision on participating in CHOGM keeping in the mind sentiments of Tamil people.
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Charging that Sri Lankan government continued to deny Tamils equality and democratic freedom thus violating the credo of the Commonwealth,Jayalalithaa reiterated the island
nation stood accused of genocide and war crimes besides ongoing human rights abuses against the Tamil minority.
“Against this background,the participation of India in this event will amount to an endorsement of these excesses.”
Stating that India’s participation will not only embolden the Sri Lankan government but will also incense public opinion in Tamil Nadu,she pointed out that ‘it will also have adverse implications on the internal security situation in Tamil Nadu.’
Referring to the protests,rallies and agitations by political parties,students and the civil society,Jayalalithaa said the situation in Tamil Nadu will get aggravated if India participates in the CHOGM meet.
She drew Manmohan Singh’s attention to the Canadian Prime Minister’s stance that he will not attend CHOGM as Sri Lanka had failed to uphold the Commonwealth’s core values.