The anti-CHOGM chorus has reached its crescendo following reports that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is likely to attend the meet in Sri Lanka brushing aside demands from Tamil Nadu to boycott it. Painting the Congress as the villain, political reaction is marked by anger witnessing a fresh bout of statements highly critical of the Centre’s decision.
DMK president M Karunanidhi said if the Prime Minister decides to attend the CHOGM meet, then the Congress would have to face the consequences. When his reaction was sought about the decision, reportedly taken at the high level meeting of the Congress in the national capital on Wednesday asking the PM to participate in CHOGM, Karunanidhi said, “Going by media reports one could presume that the Prime Minister would attend the meet.”
“If the Prime Minister attends the Commonwealth meeting convened by the racist Sinhalese regime, which killed thousands of innocent Tamils during the final phase of war in 2009, the Congress has to face the consequences,” the DMK chief cautioned.
“Siru thurumbu kooda poga koodathu, (even an iota of representation from India should not be there at the meet), Karunanidhi said when asked about the possibility of someone else representing India at CHOGM.
“As you sow, so you shall reap,” was Karunanidhi’s comment, when asked about the Congress High Command’s decision, ignoring the sentiments expressed by the DMK and the Congress members, who had supported the unanimous resolution adopted in the State Assembly urging the Centre to totally boycott the CHOGM meeting in Colombo.
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DMDK founder Vijaykant expressed shock at the reports that the PM would attend CHOGM. In his view, the PM’s attendance at the meet would only bring honours to Lankan president Rajapaksa, facing the wrath of many nations for war crimes. “Whatever reasons put forth by the PM for his participation, it would tantamount to ignoring the sentiments of people of Tamil Nadu. As such, he should reconsider his decision,” the actor-turned politician said.
PMK founder S Ramadoss said the people of Tamil Nadu would never pardon the decision of Manmohan Singh to take part in the CHOGM meet. If the PM fails to reconsider his decision, the people of TN would teach the Congress a befitting lesson in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, he added.
The radical Muslim outfit, Manithaneya Makkal Katchi, has urged the State government to call for a general strike in Tamil Nadu with the support of all parties to protest the decision. Dravidar Kazhagam president K Veeramani and AISMK founder R Sarathkumar have also condemned the reported decision of the Prime Minister.
Meanwhile, the RSS struck a discordant note with its south India secretary S Rajendran maintaining that India, while participating in CHOGM, should exert pressure on Colombo to implement the 13th amendment to the Sri Lankan constitution.
“Abstaining from the CHOGM will not bear any fruit,” he observed. “India should raise the issue of devolution of powers under the 13th Amendment in Sri Lanka during the meeting. However, we are unsure whether the leaders representing our nation will exert pressure in this regard. We have to wait and watch,” he quipped.
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