( March 07, Chennai, Sri Lanka Guardian) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa today asked the Centre to “discourage” frequent visits of Sri Lankan VIPs to the state as the people were “greatly exercised” over the island government’s conduct on the Tamils issue.
In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Jayalalithaa also said the Sri Lankan VIPs be allowed to the state only after consulting the state.
Noting that Sri Lankan VIPs and other dignitaries come on private visits without informing the state government, she wanted such trips to be allowed only after consulting the state.
Jayalalithaa said the difficulties faced by her government due to the frequent visits of officials and VIPs from Colombo without informing the state government had already been brought to the notice of the Ministries of External and Home Affairs.
“As you are fully aware, the people of Tamil Nadu are greatly exercised over the conduct of the Sri Lankan government while dealing with Sri Lankan Tamils and their rights,” the Chief Minister said in the letter.
The people’s perception here was that Colombo had “completely failed” to ensure the Tamils rights “to live with dignity, self-respect and equal constitutional status on par with the Sinhalese,” she pointed out.
“In view of the prevailing situation, it would be appropriate if the state government is given prior information about the visits”, the chief minister said.
“It would also be appreciated if the Government of India discourages such frequent visits to Tamil Nadu and allow such visits only after consulting the government of Tamil Nadu in the future,” she said.
Citing instances in the recent past when Sri Lankan VIPs and other dignitaries came on private visits to the state without informing the state government, Jayalalithaa recalled an attempt to attack Thirukumaran Natesan, brother-in-law of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, in Rameswaram.
Since there was no information from the island government or Indian government, no precautionary measures could be taken, she said.
“My attention was also drawn to the letter from the Deputy High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in Southern India addressed to the Chief Secretary to the Government of Tamil Nadu and the letter from Joint Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs. The tone and tenor of the letter is unwarranted, unacceptable and totally unjustified,” she said.