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India should stay away from CHOGM: Tamil Nadu assembly

The assembly urged the Centre not to send any representatives to the Commonwealth Heads Of Government Meeting

Press Trust of India  |  Chennai 

The Tamil Nadu assembly Thursday urged the central government to respect the sentiments of Tamils and boycott the Commonwealth summit slated to be held in Sri Lanka next month.

The assembly urged the Centre not to send any representatives to the Commonwealth Heads Of Government Meeting (CHOGM), and sought that a decision to this effect be conveyed to Sri Lanka immediately.

The state assembly urged the Indian government to take steps to suspend Sri Lanka from the Commonwealth nations club till the island nation takes steps to grant Tamils there all the rights that Sinhalese have.

A resolution to this effect was passed unanimously in the assembly.

Earlier, moving the resolution, Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa said the Sri Lankan government, in 2009, when the internal war there was at its peak, had killed lakhs of Tamils, violating international war norms.

Jayalalithaa said she had opposed the Indian government's assistance to Sri Lanka by way of giving arms, ammunition and training the latter's armed forces.

She said in her letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that efforts should be taken to shift the CHOGM summit venue out of Sri Lanka.

Jayalalithaa said the assembly in March 2013 passed a resolution urging the Centre to stop describing Sri Lanka as a friendly nation and sought an international probe on war crimes during the war against the Tamil Tigers that left thousands dead.

The Indian government was also asked to impose economic sanctions on the island nation until the "oppression" on Tamils there ended.

Jayalalithaa termed it unfortunate that the central government has not taken a decision to boycott the CHOGM summit. "It only shows that the Centre has not respected the sentiments of the Tamils," she said.

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First Published: Thu, October 24 2013. 12:06 IST