Southern Indian State Cancels Asian Athletics Championships After Killing
The government of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu said that it "will not host" the upcoming Asian Athletics Championships as athletes from Sri Lanka are participating in the event to be held in this country after a gap of nearly 20 years. State Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa announced the news at a press conference in capital Chennai, a day after she had described the alleged "cold blooded" killing of slain Tamil Tigers' chief V. Prabhakaran 's 12-year-old son Balachandran by Sri Lankan military in custody as a "war crime." Jayalalithaa said, "Sri Lanka's participation would hurt people's sentiments in Tamil Nadu" (XINHUA, 2/21).
ON THE MOVE: The PTI reported the Athletics Federation of India has said that it would "try its best to hold the Asian Athletics Championship in another city." An AFI official said, "The final decision of the venue of the event will be taken by the executive committee of the Asian Athletics Association. It is up to them to decide whether the event will remain in India or not, but certainly we would like to hold the championship in another city of India if the Tamil Nadu government refuses to host it." Top officials of the AFI "refused to comment on the development," saying that they would first examine the reason behind the cancellation only after receiving an official communication (PTI, 2/21).