Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Thursday justified the Tamil Nadu Assembly’s resolution against India’s participation in Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM), saying that the Sri Lankan government had completely violated the core values of the Commonwealth.
Recalling the Commonwealth charter signed by Queen Elizabeth that “we are implacably opposed to all forms of discrimination whether rooted in gender, race, colour, creed, political belief or other ground” Ms Jayalalithaa said Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper had already announced that he would not attend the meeting.
“It is clear that the Sri Lankan government has failed to uphold the Commonwealth’s core values which are cherished by the Canadians,” she quoted Mr Stephen Harper as saying. Ms Jayalalithaa said that during the last phase of the civil war, the Sri Lankan government killed lakhs of innocent Tamils and committed genocide, in violation of the international law and the Geneva Convention on war. Ms. Jayalalithaa said her regular letters to the Prime Minister, objecting to India providing training to the Sri Lankan Army personnel, had the desired effect and the training was stopped in Tamil Nadu.
In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in March this year, she had asked him to take steps to change the venue of the CHOGM from Sri Lanka to some other country.
A resolution passed in the Assembly on March 27, 2013, urging India to abstain from using the term “friendly” nation while making reference to Sri Lanka. Besides demanding an independent international inquiry into the war crimes and trials in the international court of justice, the resolution had called for a referendum among Sri Lankan Tamils and the Tamil diaspora on a separate Eelam.