'Those who want desirable results with Sri Lanka, want us to skip CHOGM': Khurshid

Onboard Special Aircraft, Nov.13 (ANI): Reacting to the Tamil Nadu State Assembly's resolution calling on India to completely boycott the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo, Sri Lanka, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Wednesday said people looking forward to a desirable outcome with Sri Lanka on the fishermen issue, are now demanding that New Delhi skip the summit.

"I haven't seen anything about the assembly resolution. I have heard about it. I find it curious, because last night, I had a large delegation of important Tamil Nadu politicians, and concerned people who have asked to get the Sri Lankan Government not only to release fishermen, but also release their boats. These are important livelihood matters," he said.

"They also urged that I should persuade Sri Lanka to move forward on a date for having the fishermen representation of the two sides to meet in Sri Lanka or India as early as possible. I find it curious that people who do not want us to go and (want us to) boycott the meet, are also saying to us to arrange something for a desirable outcome while we are there," he added.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Tamil Nadu Assembly in its special meeting adopted a resolution to stop India's participation in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting at Colombo.

The resolution reiterated that India should totally boycott the Commonwealth Heads Summit which is to be held from November 13 to 17 and also the External Affairs Ministers' meeting.

The resolution also emphasised that indirectly it meant that Sri Lanka had the support for indulging in acts of violence against the Tamils.

It also said the assembly had urged the Centre to take steps to get Sri Lanka suspended from Commonwealth till it took action to ensure that Sri Lankan Tamils were given equal rights on par with Sinhalese and were able to live independently.

"But in total contradiction to these demands, the Centre has announced that an Indian delegation led by External Affairs Minister would attend the CHOGM. The assembly expresses its deep regret to this," the resolution read.

Earlier, demonstrators blocked trains in Tamil Nadu, and particularly in state capital Chennai, in protest against the CHOGM Summit, even after it was announced that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would skip the meet to be held in Colombo.

Many political parties and some ministers within the ruling Congress party were advocating a total boycott of the event over alleged war atrocities of the Sri Lankan Army in its war against the Tamil Tigers. (ANI)