Boycott CHOGM in Colombo: Jaya to PM

Chennai, Mar 25 : Mounting pressure on the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government over the issue of Sri Lankan Tamils, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Monday said India should boycott the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) to be held in Sri Lanakan city Colombo in November.

"Mr. Prime Minister, the proposed CHOGM in Colombo is another opportune occasion for India to mount further pressure on Sri Lanka to ensure that accountability is 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," Jayalalithaa wrote in her letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

"As an emerging great power and an aspirant for a permanent seat in the United Nations 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.

"As a leader in South Asia, India is uniquely positioned to exert the maximum influence on the Sri Lankans to accept an independent international mechanism to hold those who committed genocide and war crimes to account," the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) supremo said.

Jaya said in her letter: "Mr. Prime Minister, there is still time to consider even an alternative venue to hold the event. India should use this opportunity to ask that the venue for the CHOGM be shifted to another country."

"In any event, 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."

The Chief Minister said: "I would, therefore, strongly urge you not to attend the CHOGM and the Leaders' Retreat proposed to be held in Colombo on November 15 to 17, 2013."

UPA's former alliance partner Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) has also demanded that India should 'boycott' the CHOGM.

--IBNS (Posted on 25-03-2013)

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