Erstwhile UPA ally and DMK chief M Karunanidhi on Friday reiterated his demand that India should boycott the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) scheduled in Sri Lanka in November.
He also urged the Centre to garner the support of other countries to shift the summit to another country. Alluding to the reports of Queen Elizabeth II skipping the event, he said her decision was significant.
“Since the formation of a Commonwealth federation, this is the first time that the Queen has decided to boycott the conference which is important information,” he said in a statement.
Karunanidhi said India should accept the requests of Tamil Diaspora around the world and announce that it would boycott the Commonwealth conference if it is held in Sri Lanka. “India should understand the feelings of all the Tamils and chart out its strategy accordingly,” Karunanidhi said.
When the Sri Lankan government is facing charges of war crimes, it is not acceptable that the Commonwealth conference should be held there. If it was held as per schedule, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa will remain as head of CHOGM for two years and problems could arise in initiating an investigation against him, Karunanidhi said.
There are demands from various quarters including in Australia urging that the CHOGM be not held in Colombo, he said. “The Tamil Eelam Supporter’s Organisation (TESO) and leaders of other political parties, including the Congress, had been demanding that CHOGM should not be held in Sri Lanka,” Karunanidhi said. Karunanidhi said Canada has already announced it decision to boycott CHOGM this year.
Sri Lanka has been accused of committing human rights abuses during the final stages of the war against the LTTE in May 2009.
Courtesy – Times of India