In protest, Tamil Nadu not to host Asian Athletics Games

J Jayalalithaa
Chennai, Feb 21: The Tamil Nadu government has decided not to host the Asian Athletics Games in Jul. Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa is likely to request the Centre to shift the event to some other state.

The Press Trust of India quoted her as saying that the decision was taken to convey the ruling AIADMK's strong protest over the terrible atrocities against Lankan Tamils in the island nation.

Hundreds of extra judicial killings were reported before the Sri Lankan army defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2009. The international community has asked the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime to prosecute those responsible for the deaths of innocent civilians during the civil war but hardly any of the ethnic Tamils in Sri Lanka have got justice so far.

A few days ago, Channel 4 released photographs of Balachandran, the 12-year-old son of slain LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran, eating biscuits while seated in a military bunker. Some pictures clicked just hours later show his lifeless body with as many as five bullet holes. These indicate that Balachandran was shot dead from close range, forensic experts aver. However, Sri Lanka is arguing that the photos have been morphed.

Balachandran's cold blooded murder is a "a war crime that cannot be condoned", Jayalalithaa said on Feb 20. The opposition parties in Tamil Nadu too condemned his execution. DMK has urged the UPA government to back a US-sponsored resolution in the United Nations Human Rights Council meeting.

The Obama administration wants Sri Lanka to investigate the war crimes that were committed in 2008 and 2009 and hold accountable all the culpable persons. Politicians in Tamil Nadu are stressing that Delhi should exert diplomatic pressure on Colombo.

Jayalalithaa feels that if Sri Lankan competitors participate in the Asian Athletics Games, then it would lead to protests from several quarters. In order to avoid such law and order problems, the state government has chosen not to play host this time.

India was allotted the 20th edition of the Games after a gap of 24 years. In 1989, New Delhi hosted the Games.

OneIndia News (with PTI inputs)

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