Government to decide on CHOGM; disturbing Channel 4 video causes concern
As the government maintained Saturdayv it is yet to take a decision on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's participation at the upcoming Commonwealth summit in Colombo, a new and disturbing Channel 4 video on the alleged arrest, sexual assault and killing of a pro-LTTE Sri Lankan news reader is causing concern.
Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram Saturday met DMK chief M.Karunanidhi in Chennai. Speaking to reporters later, he said a decision is yet to be taken on the prime minister attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo Nov 15-17.
The finance minister termed reports of Manmohan Singh's likely participation in CHOGM as incorrect.
Chidambaram also condemned the alleged rape and murder of Sri Lankan woman Isaipriya and urged the Sri Lanka government to take action against those who are responsible for it.
In New Delhi, Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D. Raja also said that India should boycott the CHOGM meeting in the light of the Channel 4 video which he termed as another evidence of human rights violations and war crimes by Sri Lanka.
The Channel 4 video shows a partially clad pro-Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) news broadcaster Isaipriya alias Shobha being dragged away by Sri Lankan soldiers. The video was purportedly shot towards the end of the war on the island in 2009 when the LTTE was defeated. She is asked in Tamil if she is LTTE chief Prabhakaran's daughter, to which she replies in the negative.
Later on, the video shows her dead and the unclad upper portion of her body is fuzzed out. The Channel 4 report says she was sexually assaulted and killed.
Speaking to BBC Tamil Service's Jayaprakash Nallusami, the military spokesman, says that only specialized investigations can ascertain whether the woman in the video is actually Isaipriya or whether the video is a mere episode of 'acting'.
With Tamil parties demanding that India boycott CHOGM, the Channel 4 video, to be broadcast Sunday night on the channel, would act as added incentive to them to raise the decibel level against the prime minister's participation, it is learnt.
Canada, which has a sizeable Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora, is boycotting the Commonwealth summit over the alleged human rights violations and war crimes. It is the second largest contributor to the Commonwealth fund.
The new chief minister of Sri Lanka's Tamil-majority Northern Province C.V. Wigneswaran has invited Manmohan Singh to visit Jaffna, the capital of the Tamil majority province. Sri Lanka held elections to the Northern province for the first time last month in which the Tamil National Alliance emerged victorious.
(Posted on 02-11-2013)