'India should have sought SL's suspension from Commonwealth'
Posted on: 11:39 PM IST Apr 03, 2013
Chennai: Expressing support to the cause of protecting Sri Lankan Tamils, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday said India should have demanded Sri Lanka's suspension from the Commonwealth for alleged human rights violations and urged the country not to participate in the next CHOGM. "India should have taken the initiative to bring to the notice of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group over the violation of human rights and sought the suspension of Sri Lanka," senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said, addressing a party meeting in Chennai.
Accusing the Centre of "inept" handling of the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, he said "India did nothing of that kind (to seek the suspension of Sri Lanka)." He alleged that without the complicity of the Indian government, the "genocide" of Tamils in the island nation would not have occurred.
Echoing the sentiments of political parties in Tamil Nadu which have been demanding that India boycott the upcoming CHOGM to be held in Sri Lanka in November, he said he was also not in favour of the country's participation. "The government of India should tell the Commonwealth Secretary General that it would not be possible for India to attend it in Sri Lanka. If India says we are not going to Sri Lanka, there will be no CHOGM. Will Prime Minister Manmohan Singh show this courage?" he said.
Making his party's stand clear on the country not attending CHOGM in Sri Lanka, the former External Affairs Minister said "I say, 'No' with a capital N and O." He advocated that India should press for action against Sri Lanka in the Commonwealth as it enjoyed a strong say in the body. "There is no Commonwealth without India. India is the pivot of Commonwealth."