Jayalalithaa upset over invite to Lanka’s Mahinda Rajapaksa
Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa has expressed annoyance over prime minister-designate Narendra Modi’s invitation to Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa for the swearing-in-ceremony on 26 May at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
It is uncertain whether she will be present during the ceremony or not. On Thursday, in a press statement, she termed the whole ‘affair’ as ‘unfortunate’. Even the BJP’s ally in Tamil Nadu, the MDMK expressed their ‘resentment’ over invitation to Rakapaksa to the national capital for the ceremony.
The leaders of both parties claimed that the presence of Rajapaksa during the swearing-in will hurt the sentiments of Tamil people.
‘Dismayed’ over the decision, Jaya pointed out that even before the new government assumed office, this ‘unfortunate move’ of inviting Rajapaksa has deeply upset the people of Tamil Nadu and wounded their sentiments all over again.
‘This is tantamount to rubbing salt into the wounds of the already deeply injured Tamil psyche. I’ll advised move could have been avoided,’ Jayalalithaa said.
‘While the sentiments of Tamils living in India and elsewhere towards the Sri Lankan Tamils were known, a change of regime at the Centre in no way alters the already existing strained relations between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka,’ her statement, which was issued in Chennai, read.
While recalling that various resolutions were passed in the state assembly to ban economic aid to Sri Lanka due to atrocities on Tamils by its army under the Rajapaksa government during the civil war, her statement said: ‘It is with a deep sense of anguish that we would like to point it out that it would have been better if this ill advised move had been avoided for better relationship between the central government and the government of Tamil Nadu.’