by Julie Mariappan, TNN, from ‘Times of India,’ October 24, 2013
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had reportedly informed the DMK leadership recently that a decision on India’s participation in theCHOGM would be taken considering all the “relevant factors”, and the sentiments of the people of Tamil Nadu and the party.
Chief minister J Jayalalithaa moved the resolution during a short-duration session, which began on Wednesday. The main opposition parties, the DMK, the DMDK, the Congress, and the Left parties, the CPI and the CPM hailed the resolution reflecting the sentiments of Tamils around the world.
The resolution said India should not send even representatives for the meeting being hosted by Sri Lanka. “The Indian government should also take steps to get Sri Lanka suspended from the CHOGM until the Island nation ensures Tamils get equal rights on a par with Sinhalese,” the resolution said.
While welcoming the resolution, Tamil Nadu Congress committee legislature party leader K Gopinath also sought to register his party’s apprehensions over India’s bilateral relations with Lanka in future, especially on security issues.
The Congress legislator detailed the efforts taken by the UPA government for the welfare of Lankan Tamils in recent years, including Rs 4,000 crore it sanctioned for infrastructure development in the Tamil areas in Sri Lanka and the constitution of a committee to supervise the schemes. “Our party lost its leader Rajiv Gandhi to the Sri Lankan Tamil welfare issue,” Gopinath said.
In March, the Tamil Nadu assembly had passed a resolution calling for a referendum on Eelam (separate Tamil land) for Tamils in Sri Lanka and the displaced Tamils living in other countries.
Jayalalithaa had stated then that the aspirations of Sri Lankan Tamils could be realized only through Eelam.