Describing as “extremely shocking and disappointing” External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid’s reported remarks assuring his participation in the Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka next month, DMK today urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to categorically announce India’s boycott of the 53-nation group’s meet.
Party Chief M Karunanidhi said Khurshid’s remarks that “I can say I will be there,” thus assuring his participation in Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), came at a time when the ruling Tamil National Alliance (TNA) that won the northern provincial election in Sri Lanka recently had decided to boycott the event.
Khurshid’s remarks were “extremely shocking and disappointing,” he said in a statement adding that the Centre without further delay should categorically announce that India will not participate in the conference.
“I insist that the Prime Minister makes the announcement in this regard immediately,” Karunanidhi, whose party pulled out of UPA in March this year over Sri Lankan Tamils issue, said.
Parties in Tamil Nadu have been opposing India’s participation in the Commonwealth meet citing alleged human rights abuses in Sri Lanka.
Karunanidhi recalled that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had recently written to him, saying that a decision on the issue of his participation in the CHOGM conference will be taken only after considering all relevant factors, including the sentiments of DMK and the Tamil people.
The DMK chief also took exception to Sri Lankan envoy to India Prasad Kariyawasam’s statement that New Delhi would remain isolated if it did not attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), saying “Tamils should unitedly oppose” his remarks.
The DMK patriarch said that Kariyawasam had spoken against a unanimous resolution adopted in the Tamil Nadu Assembly on Thursday, demanding that India completely boycott the CHOGM.
He also took a dig at Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry EM Sudarsana Natchiappan speaking in support of India’s participation in CHOGM, even as his cabinet colleague and Shipping Minister G K Vasan had reportedly objected to Kariawasam’s remarks.
The state Assembly had adopted a unanimous resolution seeking India’s complete boycott of CHOGM and temporarily suspending Sri Lanka from the league of Commonwealth till the Tamils there were accorded equal status on par majority Sinhalese. (PTI)