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Indian Minister slams Lankan envoy on CHOGM remarks

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Indian Minister of Shipping G.K. Vasan on Friday said Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam had overstepped his bounds by commenting that only those who did not participate in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) would face isolation.

At a time when pressure was mounting from Tamil Nadu on the Central government to boycott CHOGM, especially after the State Assembly adopted a resolution in this regard, Mr. Kariyawasam’s remarks were not in good taste.

“It is an important issue involving a lot of emotions and the Indian government is studying the situation. He has clearly overstepped his brief,” Mr. Vasan told The Hindu.

In the context of the Tamil Nadu legislative assembly’s unanimous resolution on Thursday calling for India’s boycott of CHOGM, Kariyawamsam had told reporters, “Isolation will happen to those who do not participate.”

Speaking on the sidelines of the three-day Bharat Nirman Public Information Campaign in Chennai, Vasan told TOI when the Congress-led UPA government was yet to make known its decision on the participation, the Sri Lankan High Commissioner had prematurely gone to the press. “This is very unfortunate,” he said.

Dravidar Kazhagam president K. Veeramani said the Assembly should take up Mr. Kariyawasam’s remarks as a privilege issue and summon him to the House. He wanted India to take a firm decision on the Commonwealth meet.

Many Congress leaders from the state are joining the chorus of demands for India’s boycott of CHOGM, even while the party leadership is yet to make up its mind.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had reportedly hinted to DMK that he would consider the sentiments of the Tamils before taking a decision regarding participation.

– The Hindu/TOI

Posted on Saturday, October 26, 2013 @ 19:24:16 LKT by

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