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Anti-Jayaa article in Sri Lankan media creates uproar

Anti-Jayaa article in Sri Lankan media creates uproar
Highlights

Anti-Jayaa Article In Sri Lankan Media Creates Uproar. India on Monday strongly condemned the \"derogatory\" article against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa appearing in the Sri Lankan Defence Ministry website, as the controversy rocked Parliament with an agitated AIADMK demanding a resolution to denounce it.

Jayalalithaa.New Delhi: India on Monday strongly condemned the "derogatory" article against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa appearing in the Sri Lankan Defence Ministry website, as the controversy rocked Parliament with an agitated AIADMK demanding a resolution to denounce it.

"The issue raised by (AIADMK leader) V Maitreyan is indeed very serious. India strongly condemns it. We will definitely summon the High Commissioner of that country and tell him about it," External Affairs Sushma Swaraj said in Rajya Sabha after AIADMK members trooped into the Well demanding a statement from the government.

Both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha witnessed two adjournments each as AIADMK members disrupted the proceedings and stormed the Well seeking a statement from the government and raising slogans denouncing the Sri Lankan President.

In the Lower House, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said, "While matters concerning diplomatic relations are dealt with delicately, this is totally unacceptable and condemnable. There is no hesitation in condemning it."

He also said he would convey the "strong feelings" of the members to Swaraj.

But the AIADMK members were not satisfied with the reply and stormed the Well raising slogans like 'Rajapakse down, down' and 'we want justice'.

Raising the issue during Zero Hour in Rajya Sabha, Maitreyan said the article appearing in the Sri Lankan Defence Ministry website was "derogatory" to Jayalalithaa.

He asked whether the government would summon the Sri Lankan High Commissioner as this was "an insult" of not only the Tamil Nadu government but also the Union Government.

AIADMK leader in Lok Sabha M Thambidurai demanded that the House adopt a "strong and unanimous resolution condemning Sri Lanka" so that such incident do not recur.

In the Lok Sabha too, Swaraj shared the concern expressed by the members and said "on behalf of the government, we condemn this in the most strongest terms and assure that we will summon the High Commissioner to make him aware of the feeling of the House over the issue."

Thambidurai earlier attacked the government for "not yet condemning" the article and to "make its stand clear" on the issue at a time when Tamil Nadu people were agitated over it.

While Jayalalithaa, who is also AIADMK supremo, has written several letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issues of harassment of Tamil fishermen by Sri Lankan Navy and Kachchatheevu island, the same had been referred in the "derogatory" article as "love letters", Thambidurai said.

He reminded the ruling NDA that it had promised during the election campaign that it would resolve the issue of Tamil Nadu fishermen who were time and again being harassed by Sri Lankan Navy.

Accusing the NDA government of not doing anything to fulfil its poll promises, the AIADMK leader said, "We are Indians. But does the government feel (itself as) Indian as they seem to be more supportive of Sri Lanka? The Centre has not yet condemned this article. You should respect regional feelings also."

Noting that the Sri Lankans are just 2.5 crore in number while there are seven crore people in Tamil Nadu, he wanted to know on whose side the government was and asked it to state what action it has taken so far in this regard.

As he spoke, AIADMK members trooped into the Well raising slogans forcing Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to adjourn the House, once for about 25 minutes and later for almost two hours.

In the Rajya Sabha, as Maitreyan raised the issue, his AIADMK colleagues trooped into the Well shouting slogans, which made Chairman Hamid Ansari to observe that their behaviour was unbecoming of Members of Parliament.

Earlier they had moved into the aisles displaying copies of the article on the Sri Lankan Defence Ministry website. Sri Lanka has already apologised for the article and removed it from the website.

In another consequence, a 16-member cricket team from Sri Lanka, which arrived in Chennai to participate in a private tournament, was sent back today morning owing to security concerns.

Parliament also witnessed adjournments during Question Hour as AIADMK members vociferously protested. Party members trooped into the Well shouting slogans.

Sri Lanka has already apologised for the article and removed it from the website.

The unqualified apology followed a stern response from the Jaya and the Indian Government to the offending article, titled ‘How meaningful are Jayalalithaa’s love letters to Narendra Modi?’ The article and illustration implied that the PM was being heavily controlled by Jaya.

Incidentally, in 2012, Jayalalithaa had, in line with her strident stance against Sri Lanka, ordered the sending home of a soccer team from that country which arrived here to play a friendly match. The action came against the backdrop of her opposition to India training Sri Lankan military personnel not only in the state but also anywhere else in the country, saying the Lankan forces had committed war crimes against Tamils in the island nation.

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