Jaya: Won’t host athletic event if Lankans take part

The resentment in the state over the killing of the 12-year-old son of slain LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran escalated on Thursday with Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa refusing to host the 20th Asian Athletic Championship over the participation of Sri Lanka. The event is scheduled to be held in Chennai in the first week of July. It was last held in India in 1989.

"It would hurt the sentiments of the people of the state if Lankan sportspersons take part in the championship, considering the atrocities committed against Tamils in Sri Lanka by the government there," said Jaya in a statement. The CM had earlier allocated Rs 40 crore in the last budget to upgrade the facilities at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai.

The chief secretary had asked the general secretary of the Singapore-based Asian Athletics Association in writing not to include Sri lanka in the meet. It has also been told to convey the state government's decision to the Lankan government. Copies of the letter was sent to the secretaries of Ministry of External Affairs and Sports. "But there has been no reply from it (the Association) to this day. We will convey to them that they should look for another venue," Jaya said.

"It is a horrific war crime to shoot down a 12-year-old innocent child, Balachandran, only because he was the son of LTTE chief Prabakaran. Like him, there are several Tamils who were slaughtered in Sri Lanka as shown by evidences that are piling up. It now seems the Lankan genocide would surpass even the one overseen by Hitler," Jaya said.

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