TN Assembly passes resolution, demands boycott of Commonwealth meet in Sri Lanka
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Scaling up pressure on the Centre, Tamil Nadu Assembly Thursday passed a unanimous resolution demanding that India "completely" boycott Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Sri Lanka next month and seek temporary suspension of the island nation from it.
The resolution, "unanimously" adopted by the House, also urged India to initiate steps to seek "temporary suspension" of Sri Lanka from CHOGM till it grants equal status to Tamils living there.
Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, who moved the resolution, outlined the relentless struggle taken by her government to protect the interests of Tamils in Sri Lanka and recalled the earlier resolution passed in the Assembly in 2011, demanding economic sanctions against the island nation.
This is the third resolution to be passed by the AIADMK Government on the issue of welfare of Sri Lankan Tamils.
"India should completely boycott the meet. There should not even be a symbolic representation from the country in the upcoming CHOGM and it should communicate its decision to Sri Lanka immediately", the resolution said.
Soon after the resolution was moved by Jayalalithaa, Congress Assembly Leader Gopinath, M K Stalin (DMK), CPM MLA A Soundararajan, Arumugam (CPI), DMDK Leader 'Panruti' Ramachandran supported it.
However, in a word of caution, Gopinath said whatever action India takes should not lead to straining of relations between the two countries.
Despite the State government's continued pressure on the Centre to boycott CHOGM, "It has not taken any concrete steps so far", the resolution alleged.
Jayalalithaa recalled she had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in March this year to take steps to shift the venue for CHOGM from Colombo and stay away from it if it was held in Sri Lanka.
Pointing to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's decision not to participate in CHOGM (though nominating a representative), she said while a country with meagre Tamil population took such a decision, "It is unfortunate that India with eight crore Tamils has not taken a determined decision," even against token participation.