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Protest Against CHOGM in Sri Lanka Intensifies in Tamil Nadu

Protest Against CHOGM in Sri Lanka Intensifies in Tamil Nadu

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Published by: Thavam on Oct 13, 2013
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( October 13, 2013, Chennai, Sri Lanka Guardian)
'Boycott CHoGMin Sri Lanka', a narrowed down and concrete demand reverberating from its parent'Boycott Sri Lanka' movement is now gaining impelling strength all over the world,especially in India. While Tamils around the world and many international human rightsorganizations have called for an independent international investigation of war crimesby Sri Lanka, the Common Wealth Council has planned to enthrone the alleged warcrimes perpetrator Mahinda Rajapaksa as the “Commonwealth Chairperson-in office”for the next 2 years in the CHOGM summit which is to be held in Sri Lanka betweenNovember 15- 17, 2013.If the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meet (CHOGM) is held in Sri Lanka, acountry that has least regard for Human Rights, it would only encourage theperpetrators of the genocidal war crimes against the Tamil civilians of Sri Lanka anddeny its victims their justice. The allegations of Sri Lankan government’s genocidal warcrimes and crimes against humanity have been well substantiated by the UN ExpertPanel, Dublin Permanent People’s Tribunal Award and the London Channel-4documentaries. Sri Lanka has violated all the core beliefs of the Commonwealth ofNations as declared in 1971 Singapore Declaration of Commonwealth principles ofequal rights for all regardless of race, colour, creed or political belief.
At present, Sri Lanka infamously stands as the third unsafe nation for journalists with arecord of killing more than 60 journalists. Earlier in January 2011, internationallyrenowned writers like Noam Chomsky, Arundhati Roy and Orhan Pamuk boycotted theGalle Literary festival held in Sri Lanka, citing the lack of freedom and safety for journalists.The Commonwealth Lawyers Association observed the controversialremoval of Sri Lanka’s Chief Justice due to lack of judicial independence andtransparency in Sri Lanka. Lawyers from more than 50 countries have appealedCommonwealth nations to boycott CHOGM in Sri Lanka.The demands to expel Sri Lanka from the Commonwealth and to change the CHOGMvenue out of Sri Lanka are being taken to the various sections of people in Tamil Naduby many political movements and student communities through various campaignmodes viz. street protests, train campaigns, pamphlets, conferences, hall meetings,public meetings and through social network portals. The students especially aregetting organized for the massive protest against CHOGM in Sri Lanka.In Chennai, 63 year old veteran political leader, Comrade Thiagu started his fast untothe last protest on October 1, 2013, demanding the Indian government to takenecessary actions to expel Sri Lanka out of Common Wealth Council. He has writtenan appeal letter to the Prime Minister of India listing out the Human Rights abuses,War crimes and the Genocide committed by the Sri Lankan government and urged thegovernment of India to ask for the change of venue from Colombo to some otherCommonwealth Capital or, if at all there is no change, to boycott the CHOGM atColombo. The demands put forth by Thiagu gained support from various politicalparties and movements. Refusing to undergo medical treatment, Thiagu is continuinghis indefinite hunger strike even after being forcefully admitted to the governmenthospital by the state police. In spite of complete black out by corporate media house,the protest against CHOGM in Sri Lanka is slowly and steadily spreading across thestate. Students and youths are engaged in street campaigns and bike rallies appealingthe Indian Prime Minister to boycott CHOGM. State wide protest by various politicalparties is scheduled on October 11,2013. On the same day , the students movementhas planned for rail roko protest in Chennai.The 'Boycott CHOGM in Sri Lanka' drive has gained unequivocal support from variouspolitical parties, progressive movements and rights activists all over India. The peopleand political parties of Tamil Nadu are nearly unanimous in appealing Indian PrimeMinister to boycott CHOGM if it is held in Sri Lanka. Besides the Tamil Nadu basedpolitical parties, the state unit of National parties like BJP and Congress haveappealed the Prime Minister to boycott CHOGM in Colombo. Notably, the UnionMinister Mr. G.K.Vasan has appealed the Prime Minister not to attend the summit in SriLanka.

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