PM skipped CHOGM because he respects Tamil sentiments: Minister

Minister lauds PM for skipping CHOGM
Namakkal (Tamil Nadu), Nov 15: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by deciding to skip the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka has respected the sentiments of people of Tamil Nadu, Union shipping minister GK Vasan has said.

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid has gone to Colombo as only the Centre can find a solution to the Tamils' problems and issue of attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen, he told reporters in Namakkal last night.

By not attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), the Prime Minister has abided by the sentiments of Tamilians, he said.

Political parties in Tamil Nadu have been demanding that India boycott completely the CHOGM in view of alleged war crimes by Sri Lanka during the battle against LTTE in 2009.

The Tamil Nadu Assembly had on November 12 expressed "regret" over India's participation in CHOGM, while DMK chief M Karunanidhi described Mr Khurshid's visit as "wrong", saying Tamil people's sentiments should not be ignored in this matter.

About the demolition of the compound wall and removal of a park at the Mullivaaikal Memorial in Thanjavur, built in honour of Tamil 'martyrs' in the civil war in Sri Lanka, Mr Vasan said "it has nothing to do with the Congress; we do not have any involvement."

On the December 4 by-election to the Yercaud Assembly constituency, Mr Vasan said the Congress High Command would clear its stand soon.


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