PM to take final call on boycotting C'wealth meet in Colombo

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Chennai, March 30: Minister of state in Prime Minister's Office (PMO) V Narayanasamy on Saturday said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will take a final call on boycotting the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo over the Sri Lankan Tamils issue after discussing the matter with foreign minister Salman Khurshid.

Political parties from Tamil Nadu have raised strong demand for boycotting the Commonwealth meet and now Union shipping minister G K Vasan, a Congress politician from the southern state, have also joined the chorus.

Narayanasamy said that the Tamil Nadu assembly recently passed a resolution on Sri Lanka and sent it to the Centre and the DMK too passed a resolution in its general council. Both the AIADMK and DMK have asked the Centre to boycott the CHOGM meeting. He said the PM would take a final call on the issue after meeting Khurshid. The Commonwealth meeting is scheduled to be held in November this year.

Vasan had said on Friday that the venue of the Commonwealth meeting should be shifted if the Sri Lankan authorities did not change its stance towards the ethnic Tamils settled in that country.

The minister, who said it was his personal observation, uttered that if Sri Lanka did not change its approach towards the ethnic Tamils, then those nations which had recently voted in favour of the US-sponsored resolution in the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) against Lankan atrocities should try to shift the CHOGM meeting from the island-nation.

He added that the Indian prime minister should participate in the meeting on the basis of collective decision.

The Jayalalithaa government also said recently that Sri Lankan players would not be allowed to take part in Indian Premier League matches in Chennai.

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