Demonstrations against the Centre over its participation at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka continued in the state today. Cadres of the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) led by Thol Thirumavalavan held a protest demonstration today at the busy Valluvar Kottam junction here. Accusing the BJP of "pressurising" the Congress to participate in the CHOGM meet, Thirumavalavan slammed the saffron party for doing "politics" on this issue. While similar protests were held in several places in the state, more agitations are likely to be held in the next couple of days. In Coimbatore, 13 activists of VCK were arrested for allegedly burning an effigy of Minister of State for Commerce S Natchiappan protesting his remarks favouring Prime Minister Manmohan Singh attending the CHOGM meet. Police, however, managed to seize the effigy and extinguish the blaze before arresting the activists. Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu Federation of Traders Association (an umbrella body of retail traders of commodities including grocery) has announced a strike on November 12 and shops will be shut on the day. "Sri Lanka does not have any locus standi to hold this conference.
The British and the Indian governments should take steps to stop this meet from happening in Colombo. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa should be prosecuted for genocide and war crimes," T Vellaiyan, president of the Federation said. Agitations will be held in all important towns and urban centres across Tamil Nadu, he added. CPI state Secretary D Pandian today announced that his party would hold protest demonstrations in the state on November 11 urging the Centre to boycott the CHOGM.