Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Thursday announced that Tamil Nadu would not host the 20th Asian Athletics Championships scheduled to be held here in July, on the ground that the participation of Sri Lankan players would hurt the feelings of Tamils.
In a statement, she said the Asian Athletics Association would be asked to hold the Championships anywhere else.
It was on Wednesday that the Chief Minister condemned the Sri Lankan government over the “inhuman act of alleged cold blooded killing” of Balachandran, son of the slain LTTE chief V. Prabhakaran.
Ms. Jayalalithaa said her government had written to the Asian Athletics Association in Singapore, seeking that Sri Lankan team be desisted from participation. This was in view of the Sri Lankan government “acting repeatedly” against Sri Lankan Tamils. The sporting body had also been requested to intimate to the Sri Lankan government in an appropriate way the State government’s decision.
The Association had been requested to inform the State government of the follow up action. Copies of the State government’s letter to the Association were sent to Secretaries of Union Ministries of External Affairs and Sports. “But there has been no reply or information from the Association so far,” she pointed out.
Ms. Jayalalithaa added that “since there has been no favourable response from the Asian Athletics Association, my government will at no cost accept holding the event, in which Sri Lanka is also participating, in Tamil Nadu. Tamils also will not accept it.”