Karunanidhi asks Centre to boycott Commonwealth meet in Sri Lanka

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Karunanidhi asks Centre to boycott Commonwealth meet in Sri Lanka
Chennai:  DMK president M Karunanidhi today described as "important" Queen Elizabeth II skipping the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Sri Lanka in November and once again demanded that India boycott the meet.

"Since the formation of a Commonwealth federation, this is the first time that the Queen has boycotted the conference which is important information," he said in Chennai.

For the first time in 40 years, Queen Elizabeth II will skip the Commonwealth summit. Her son, Prince Charles, will attend the biennial event instead.

However, Buckingham Palace has said the Queen's decision not to attend was not related to the political situation in Lanka.

Various movements were on, including one in Australia, urging the CHOGM to be shifted from Sri Lanka, though "arrangements are on for the conduct of the conference in Sri Lanka," he said.

With the island government charged with alleged "war crimes," it was not acceptable that the CHOGM be held there.

There were strong opinions that if it was held as per schedule, Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa will remain as head of Commonwealth for two years and "problems could arise in initiating probe against him," for war-crimes, he said.

In such a situation, if India participates in the meet as a friendly nation, it would amount to it "endorsing the genocide" (against Tamils)."Therefore, considering that Tamils are also a part of India, India should at least now come forward to extend a hand of friendship," he said.

"Acceding to the request of Tamil people and others around the world, India should announce it will not participate and also seek to mobilise support of member countries against holding the conference in Sri Lanka," he said.

India should give credence to the sentiments of Tamil people and devise a strategy accordingly, he added.



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