DMK leader M. Karunanidhi on Saturday threatened to launch an agitation if India participated in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo later this year. The protest would involve blocking of trains and hoisting black flags atop houses and shops in the State.

In a statement here, Mr Karunanidhi accused the Sri Lankan government of seeking to water down the 13th amendment to its Constitution and failing to prevent attacks on Tamil fishermen, despite repeated requests from the Indian government.

He wanted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to covey in no uncertain terms India’s stand when Sri Lankan External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris visited the country on Saturday to formally invite him to the conference.

“If the Indian government ignores our demand, the DMK will organise protests such as hoisting black flags atop houses and shops and holding rail roko to express the feelings of Tamils against the decision to participate in the event.

Mr Karunanidhi’s demand has come at a time when the relationship between the DMK and the Congress appears to be heading for a renewal, especially after Congress MLAs voted Ms Kanimozhi in the Rajya Sabha polls.

The DMK leader said that of the 49 fishermen arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy, only eight had been released and others were remanded to judicial custody till August 21.

“The arrest of Tamil fishermen has become the order of the day. Though the Union government has taken up the issue with the Sri Lankan High Commissioner, it has failed to provide any relief,” he said.

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