Boycott CHOGM if held in Sri Lanka, demands DMK

Chennai, March 25 : The DMK Monday urged the Indian government to boycott the ensuing Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) to be held in Sri Lanka this November if the organisers are not able to shift venue outside the island nation.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK chief J. Jayalalithaa also made a similar demand later.

The DMK also urged the Indian government to take effective steps to protect the Tamil Nadu fishermen from the attacks of Sri Lankan Navy and fishermen.

The demands were made at the party's executive council meeting here - the first after its recent pullout from the central government and the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA).

The meeting was chaired by party president M. Karunanidhi and was attended by all the major leaders barring former union minister M.K. Alagiri.

Alagiri, the eldest son of Karunanidhi, returned to Madurai Monday morning despite the executive council meeting, resulting in speculations that the rift within the party and the party's first family is on the rise.

Alagiri, who is said to be upset at the party's decision to pull out of DMK, said he had not attended the meet as he was not well.

Meanwhile, the DMK at the executive council meeting here resolved that holding CHOGM in Sri Lanka is not acceptable and appropriate and requested the organisers to change the venue.

If the conference is held in Sri Lanka, then echoing the sentiments of Tamils world over and upholding democratic principles, India should boycott CHOGM, said the resolution.

Reiterating its reasons for quitting the central government over India's inaction in support of Sri Lankan Tamils, the party said it had supported the UPA government to keep away the communal forces.

Listing out the benefits Tamil Nadu derived because of the party's support to the UPA government, the party urged the central government to act in accordance with the apex court's ruling on nationalising rivers.

Last February the apex court had ordered the central government to constitute a committee to explore the possibilities of integrating rivers. The committee should meet every three months and submit its report to the central government.

It is more than a year since the apex court gave its order and no action has been taken on that by the central government, the DMK noted.

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

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