India should boycott CHOGM in Sri Lanka: Jayalalithaa

Chennai, Oct 17 : Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa Thursday said India should boycott the Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka next month to protest what she said was violation of human rights of Tamils there.

In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Jayalalithaa said: "I wish to reiterate Tamil Nadu's view that India should not participate in the CHOGM hosted by Sri Lanka at any level - 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," she said.

In a letter to DMK president M. Karunanidhi this week, Manmohan Singh said a decision on his participation at the CHOGM conference will be taken only after considering all relevant factors, including the sentiments of the DMK and the Tamil people.

"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 CHOGM at Colombo in November 2013," Jayalalithaa added.

According to her, the present Sri Lankan regime stands accused of committing war crimes and human rights abuses against the Tamils in the country violating the credo of the Commonwealth.

"Against this background, the participation of India in this event will amount to an endorsement of these excesses," she said.

"Such participation will not only embolden the Sri Lankan regime but will also incense public opinion and sentiment in Tamil Nadu on this very sensitive issue even further," she said.

The chief minister warned of serious internal security situation as political parties, students and civil society were protesting against the Sri Lankan regime.

Jayalalithaa cited Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's decision to stay away from the summit citing Sri Lanka's failure to uphold the Commonwealth core values.

--IANS (Posted on 17-10-2013)

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