British Queen plays a 'role' in Karunanidhi's new drama

New Delhi, May 10: Why is DMK chief M Karunanidhi reading too much into the absence of Queen Elizabeth at Commonwealth meet in Colombo in November? It is a new drama that the DMK chief wants to enact to annoy Manmohan Singh government and harass it.

It was announced this week that the 87-year-old Queen will miss her first Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting for over 40 years. She will be represented by Prince Charles.

The reason for her absence from the Colombo meet is her advanced age. The Queen is reducing her long haul overseas travel. It comes just weeks after the Queen was hospitalised. The cacellation of her trip was not to avoid the political question about whether or not Sri Lanka should be the host. This has been confirmed by the officials of Buckingham Palace.

Charles, supported by Camilla, is expected to step in whenever she needs him to represent her on future long haul trips too. The Palace said it was reviewing the long-haul travel of the Queen.

However, all this information does not seem to have convinced the DMK chief. He insists that the Queen has boycotted the Lanka meet and hence, India should also keep away from Colombo.

"Since the formation of a Commonwealth federation, this is the first time that the Queen has boycotted the conference which is an important information," Karunanidhi said in a statement in Chennai today.

The Queen was also forced to cancel her appearance in March at the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey in London, the first time the monarch had missed the occasion in 20 years,and it was due to her health.

However, Karunanidhi has the support of influential voices. Professor Philip Murphy, the director of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, said he thought the decision (of the Queen to stay away from Colombo) was partly motivated by political concerns. "Her past record is of absolutely insisting on attending these meetings," he said.

"It is her key policy concern in international affairs. One suspects that had it been somewhere else she would have prioritised it and taken a risk," the Australian newspaper quoted Murphy.

It is true that there are voice against the choice of Sri Lanka as the host nation for the 2013 summit.

Campaigners including Amnesty International are calling for the CHOGM meeting not to take place there before an investigation is carried out into human rights abuses in the final six months of the 26-year Sri Lankan civil war.

Britain is facing pressure to lead a boycott of the meeting. The Canadian government has made it clear that it will not attend unless specific criteria are met.

British Labour party leader Douglas Alexander hoped Cameron would "think again" about his decision to attend the summit "given the very serious and continuing allegations in relation to human rights".

OneIndia News

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