| by N.S.Venkataraman

( November 1, 2013, Chennai, Sri Lanka Guardian) It is reported that the Government of Canada may boycott the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) that will take place at Colombo in Novermber,2013. There are campaign being carried out in Tamil Nadu that India should also boycott CHOGM. Hopefully, Government of India will not accede to such demands and will attend the meeting .

The CHOGM is being organised as a forum for exchange of views and take measures to usher in peace and harmony and better cooperation between the commonwealth nations. The objective is laudable and constructive. Boycotting the commonwealth meet because of the venue is an extremely bad idea and it is surprising that the Government of Canada cannot understand the negative and counter productive implications of its stand. The leadership of the government of Canada appears to be getting confused and cannot see the fact that its views on some activities of the Sri Lankan government need not be linked to the venue of the meeting , which is taking place this time in Sri Lanka.

If the government of Canada has any misgivings about any aspect of the functioning of the Sri Lankan government, then it should have the courage of conviction to attend the meeting and raise the issue during the meeting and also listen to the views of the Sri Lankan government for better understanding of the issues involved. The fact is that there had been civil strife in Sri Lanka which threatened the integrity of the whole country. The separatist movement in Sri Lanka indulged in violence , murders and subversion which are unacceptable. When an integrity of the country is threatened, the concerned country has no alternative other than taking all measures to defeat the separatist forces. If such developments were to happen in Canada, perhaps the government of Canada would have reacted in the same way as the Sri Lankan government did.

Certainly, violence is not preferable in any part of the world. However, sometimes it becomes inevitable when rebels indulge in violent methods to achieve their objectives. United States of America , which shouts from the roof top that it is the most democratic country in the world and says that it values freedom and liberty utmost, has not hesitated to use force in several countries in the world in the past including Vietnam, Korea, Iraq. Afghanistan etc. Canada , the neighbouring country and one of the allies of USA has never spoken anything about the violent and atrocious methods adopted by USA against distant countries which are in no way disrupting the peace in USA. Obviously, Canada has one logic for USA and another logic for Sri Lanka.

India is now facing serious issues due to the act of maoists in some states who are indulging in violence and looting and killing innocent people. The maoists have virtually waged war against Indian government and are attacking and killing police men and security forces with impunity. In the same way, in north eastern states in India, there are number of separatist movements who indulge themselves in coercion and sabotage. Government of India , finding that the integrity of the county is being challenged, has no alternative other than sending armed troops to fight against the violent prone separatists and kill and destroy them. Now, Canada has not said a word about such developments in India.

The heads of government of commonwealth nations should show an element of maturity and understanding of the issues involved with long term perspectives , instead of boycotting the CHOGM and in the process paving way for weakening the unity of the commonwealth nations. It is still not late for the government of Canada to realise its follies and reverse its decision to boycott the CHOGM , which would serve no purpose.