Chennai: A controversy has broken out over the blacking out of a video message delivered by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin at a recent event in Colombo in which Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and BJP leaders participated along with Sri Lanka’s rulers.
The event Naam 200 was organised to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Tamil labourers from the State going to Sri Lanka during the British rule.
Centre disapproved of CM speech: Lankan Paper
The Colombo-based The Morning newspaper, had on Sunday published a column in which it said the Government of India raised “objections” to the “last-minute” inclusion of the Chief Minister’s speech. The video was not telecast at the meeting as New Delhi did not approve the “revised agenda”.
On Monday, Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Thangam Thennarasu, who was initially scheduled to attend the event, charged that he was unable to make it as the Union Government had delayed permission for his participation. Thennarasu told journalists in Virudhunagar in south Tamil Nadu that on October 28, he had sought permission from the Centre to participate in the event. He also booked his air ticket to Colombo hoping to attend the event on November 2.
“I waited till 8.30 p.m. on November 1 for the Centre’s clearance. As the permission did not come, I cancelled my programme thinking the clearance might not be given,” he said. However, late in the night the clearance came by when he had cancelled his ticket.
Organisers released Stalin's video message to locals
Subsequently, the organisers of the event had sought a video message from the Chief Minister M K Stalin. “Despite his busy schedule, the Chief Minister recorded a video message and it was sent to the organisers,” Thennarasu said. “However, for reasons unknown, the video message was not played at the conference, as promised,” he said. Asked if the Centre was behind the incident, the Minister said he would leave it to the media’s conclusion.
Meanwhile, the organisers had released Stalin’s message to the local media in Colombo and the same was telecast in their news bulletins.
MDMK leader Vaiko condemned the Centre for not granting clearance.