Chennai: Tamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi (TVK) members today staged a protest against the Sri Lankan Government for releasing a controversial article on its Ministry of Defence website regarding the letters written by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalitha to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over fishermen’s issues.
Around 200 members participated in the protest and raised slogans against the Sri Lankan government and also burnt the effigy of Lankan president Rajapakse and tried to take a procession towards the Sri Lankan Embassy in the city.
Velmurugan, leader of the TVK said, “We condemn this act and demand that the central government should take strong steps in this issue by warning the Sri Lankan president or arresting the Sri Lanka High Commissioner. But the present government seems to be silent on this issue. We want immediate steps to be taken. They have asked for an apology but we should take stronger steps against this issue so it’s not repeated again.”
“The fishermen issues are handled by the present government in the same way like Congress did. Even now fishermen are arrested and attacked. They should change their stand. Countries like Japan and Indonesia have come to a mutual agreement about fishing in international borders; likewise a mutual agreement must be made in our borders for fishing,” he added.
The Sri Lankan Defence Ministry had on Friday tendered an unqualified apology to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa over an article criticising Jayalalithaa for writing frequently to Prime Minister Modi on issues related to Sri Lanka and the fishermen’s issue.
The apology from Colombo came after political parties in Tamil Nadu set aside their differences on Friday to strongly back Jayalalithaa after the website carried an article critical of her, with an accompanying graphic image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
A political furore arose hours after the article was published. The ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and Tamil outfits in various parts of Tamil Nadu staged protests, one was also held outside Sri Lankan deputy High Commission.
NDA allies asked India to sever ties with Sri Lanka despite the offending article being removed from the website.
Jayalalithaa urged Modi to demand an unconditional apology from the Sri Lankan government over the issue.
The Tamil Nadu BJP unit said that publishing of such a derogatory article in an official website was not acceptable.
The party’s state general secretary, Vanathy Srinivasan, said that New Delhi should summon the Sri Lankan envoy and convey its objections to the article in the strongest possible manner.
The opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) also criticized Colombo, saying that the article mocking Jayalalithaa’s writing of letters to Prime Minister Modi on issues involving Sri Lanka, should be seen as “cheap”.