Chennai,Oct 17 (): Protests and demonstrations are scaling up in various formats in Tamil Nadu against Prime Minister’s proposed decision to attend Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka next month.
DMK patriarch Karunanidhi echoing the sentiments of the Tamil people, had asked the Indian government to boycott the November summit of CHOGM. Karunanidhi emphasized that we cannot have normal relations with a government that is insensitive to the demands of Sri Lankan Tamils.
Referring to reports of Canada’s decision to boycott the Commonwealth meet, Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa called upon Dr Manmohan Singh not to attend the CHOGM in Colombo. She further argued that India must use the opportunity to shift the venue from Sri Lanka and at the very least, stay away from the meet, if held in Colombo.
The 15-day-long fast unto-death protest launched by Thiagu, veteran leader and founder of Movement against CHOGM in Sri Lanka has recently been called off by him after PM’s assurance that he would do a rethink on his participation in the Colombo summit. His hunger strike gathered adequate heat and attention across the state and from the Diaspora and pro-Tamil organizations spread far and wide.
Students have been demonstrating in various districts of the state through street protests,hunger strikes, class boycotts etc demanding Manmohan Singh to boycott CHOGM meet in genocidal Sri Lanka.
Rail campaigns,bike rallies and street protests are held by pro-Tamil outfits in the city demanding to expel genocidal Sri Lanka from Commonwealth.
Medha Patkar, National Convener of National Alliance of People’s Movement (NAPM) has also come forward to launch a nationwide campaign across 12 states to drum up public support against Manmohan Singh’s proposed visit to Colombo for CHOGM meet.
Demanding New Delhi to skip Rajapakse-headed Commonwealth summit,Thamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi founder Velmurugan along with party cadres and members demonstrated in Chepauk in Chennai on October 15.
Demonstrations and street protests were held in several parts of the state the same day on behalf of Naam Tamilar Katchi, headed by Seeman.
Members of Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam locked the gates of five central government offices, including All India Radio office in the city early Tuesday,October 15. The locks were later broken by the police.
Manmohan Singh in his recent letter to Karunanidhi had said he would definitely keep in mind the sentiments of Tamils and political parties in Tamil Nadu on his participation in CHOGM.
Taking into cognizance the strong wave of ‘Boycott CHOGM in Sri Lanka’ that is sweeping the state of Tamil Nadu across political parties, rights activists, progressive organizations and students, there is a strong likelihood that Manmohan Singh would stay away while India may be represented at the Commonwealth summit by vice-president Hamid Ansari and external affairs minister Salman Khurshid, according to recent reports.