BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy lauded Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) leader Arumugam Thondaman, a former Cabinet Minister of Livestock and Rural Community Development of Sri Lanka who is accompanied by Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa during their five-day visit to India. He said "Thondaman is dynamic and can be a bridge." He also went on to bash the northern Jaffna Tamilians.
While Rajapaksa has been in the limelight during his visit to India, Thondaman's presence in the country is still not known by many. Appreciating his presence, Subramanian Swamy took to Twitter and said that "Thondaman is true blue Tamilian descendant of 19th-century Tamil plantation labour from India..." Though he lauded Thondaman, he went on to bash the northern Jaffna Tamilians "...unlike northern Jaffna Tamils," he added.
"While PM Rajapaksa is on a whirlwind tour he was accompanied by one of his Ministers ShriThondaman who is a true blue Tamil being a descendant of 19th century Tamil plantation labour from India unlike northern Jaffna Tamils . He is dynamic and can be a bridge," he tweeted.
It seems he was referring to the labour movement in Sri Lanka.
Earlier, on January 14, Sri Lankan President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa's office had issued a media release stating that the president wanted the minimum daily wage of the plantation labourers to be increasedto to Rs 1, 000 with effect from March 1.
Thondaman, who is an advocate to Indian plantation labourers in Sri Lanka, hailed the presidents announcement and said that it fulfills promise made by him during the presidential elections.
Earlier, PM Rajapaksa, speaking about the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), he had said that "CAA is the internal matter of India."
Thondaman also backed Rajapaksa's statement and said that their relationship with India is different from others. "It is your internal matter. I am convinced that the relationship we have with India is different from others. It is like the stepmother or your own kid. We are your own kid. They are friendly but we are family," India Today quoted him as saying.
Taking a dig at an India Today journalist, Swamy accused him of trying to force Thondaman to criticise CAA. Swamy had earlier tweeted, " It is revealing that the correspondent of India Today TV met a Minister from Sri Lanka yesterday and tried to make him to criticise the CAA. The Minister declined to answer stating that it was an internal matter. Such is the patriotism of MSM."
PM Modi and Rajapaksa held a meeting and in their talks, the two prime ministers deliberated on the entire expanse of bilateral ties and resolved to further deepen anti-terror cooperation and boost trade and investment ties. Rajapaksa's visit here assumed significance as his tenure as Sri Lanka's president from 2005 to 2016 saw expansion of China's footprints in the Indian Ocean island nation, triggering concerns in India.