After series of appeals and protests over India’s stand on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC that led to turmoil in Tamil Nadu and a political upheaval in Delhi, the Centre is under pressure from Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and DMK president M Karunanidhi to boycott an important international summit slated to be held in Colombo later this year, the New India Express reported.
Archrivals Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi found themselves on the same platform when they raised the demand that the venue for Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) be shifted from Sri Lanka, failing which India should boycott the summit and lobby among member states to follow suit so as to put pressure on the Lankan government over allegations of genocide, war crimes and human rights violations.
“Any high level participation or engagement from the Indian side in the CHOGM will not only embolden the Lankan regime but also incense public opinion and sentiment in Tamil Nadu on this very sensitive issue even further,” said Jayalalithaa in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, strongly urging him not to attend the November 15-17 meeting in Colombo.
The issue also figured in the executive committee meeting of the DMK that was held on Monday. In a resolution, the former UPA ally, which had assumed a belligerent posture on dealing with Lanka, urged the Centre to take lead in boycotting the summit. “We urge the Commonwealth that the meeting should not be held in Colombo for whatever reasons. If our appeal is not met, India should stay away respecting the sentiments of Tamils across the world,” read the resolution.
The Prime Minister of Canada had already announced that he will not participate in the CHOGM, a top-level summit of the 54 member states, if Lanka failed to improve the efforts on rehabilitation of the war-affected Tamil population and fixing accountability for alleged crimes during the last phase of its war with Tamil rebels.