Twenty one pro-Tamil outfits pressing for India's non-participation in the November 15 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meet in Sri Lanka over the Lankan Tamils issue have demanded that the state government declare a bandh on November 12 to mount pressure on the Centre over taking part. The decision was taken after deliberations among various outfits, including Vaiko-led MDMK, May 17 Movement, Thanthai Periyar Dravida Kazhagam and Manithaneya Makkal Katchi. The meet yesterday decided to resort to rail blockades to register their protest and also urged other political parties and student organisations to join them in the agitations. Asked about the appeal, official sources said it would be 'difficult' for the state government to declare the bandh especially at this juncture as "several issues" are involved. On October 24, the Tamil Nadu Assembly had unanimously adopted a resolution, demanding that India seek temporary suspension of Sri Lanka from the Commonwealth body and insisted on a 'complete' boycott of CHOGM in Colombo by the Centre, respecting "sentiments and opinion" of the state's people. It had also urged New Delhi to initiate steps to seek "temporary suspension" of Sri Lanka from the league of Commonwealth Nations till the island nation grants equal status to Tamils living there. Pro-Tamil outfits and student groups have been agitating over the issue in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry over the past several days, demanding that the Centre boycott CHOGM. Union Ministers Jayanthi Natarajan and V Narayanasamy have also come out openly opposing India's participation, joining Cabinet colleague G K Vasan, who has been stridently demanding that the Prime Minister keep away from the meet. A PIL petition has also been filed in the Madras High Court bench in Madurai, seeking to restrain the Centre from sending a delegation to CHOGM.
21 pro-Tamil outfits demand bandh on Nov 12
Aim to mount pressure on the Centre over taking part in the Nov 15 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meet in Sri Lanka over the Lankan Tamils issue
Press Trust of India |