How meaningful are Jayalalithaa's love letters to Narendra Modi: Derogatory Sri Lanka defence website article

Written by PTI | Chennai | Updated: Aug 1 2014, 22:52pm hrs
Setting aside their differences, political parties in Tamil Nadu today strongly backed Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa after the Sri Lankan defence website carried an article critical of her, with an accompanying graphic image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Hours after the article was published,it led to political furor accompanied by protests by AIADMK and Tamil outfits in various parts of the state besides NDA allies demanding India severe ties with Colombo even as the piece was later removed from the website.

The article was titled 'How meaningful are Jayalalithaa's love letters to Narendra Modi."

The state BJP unit said publishing of such a derogatory article in an official website was not acceptable.

Party's state general secretary Vanathy Srinivasan said that India should summon the Sri Lankan envoy and "convey our feelings."

"We should strongly condemn it as it was published in an official website of the Sri Lankan government," she told PTI.

However, she was not in favour of severing ties with the island nation, as demanded by her party's Tamil Nadu allies, PMK and MDMK.

The DMK also slammed the Sri Lankan government over the episode and demanded an apology.

Party spokesperson T K S Elangovan described the article, which mocked Jayalalithaa's writing of letters to Modi on issues involving Sri Lanka, as "cheap".

No matter what the differences were, a Chief Minister cannot be depicted in such manner, he said.

PMK founder S Ramadoss said that the article was bad in taste and not only demeaned Jayalalithaa, but also Modi.

On criticism in the article about Jayalalithaa writing letters to Modi on issues relating to Indian fishermen involving Sri Lanka, he said such commentary in an official government site amounted to interfering in the internal affairs of the country.

He alleged that the visit of a BJP delegation led by party leader Subramanian Swamy, perceived to be close to the Sri Lankan administration, to Sri Lanka had emboldened that country to make such remarks.

"The Sri Lankan President (Mahinda Rajapakse) and Defence Secretary should apologise for the article. If the Sri Lankan government declines to do so, India should not hesitate to severe its relations with that country," Ramadoss said.

He said it was not proper to degrade Jayalalithaa, who was not only an elected leader, but also a woman.

MDMK leader Vaiko described the incident as 'unforgivable' and said it showed the 'atrocious' nature of the Lankan army.

Jayalalithaa's letters to Modi were not mere communication, but her 'struggle' to ensure the welfare of the Sri Lankan Tamils, he said.

"Those letters are representative of the feelings of 7.5 crore Tamil people," he said and faulted the BJP delegation's visit to the island nation.

"India should immediately take action against Sri Lanka and sever ties with that country. Else there will be a suspicion if the Narendra Modi government had joined hands with Sri Lanka" in its anti-Tamil measures, he said.

TNCC president B S Gnanadesikan also criticised the article and said he had taken up the matter with the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commission, seeking its removal from the website.

"There may be political differences, but portraying a Chief Minister in an indecent manner is not acceptable," he said.

Meanwhile, protests were held outside the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commission by AIADMK and a small pro-Tamil outfit, separately. Effigies of Rajapakse were burnt by protestors in some parts of the state.

Tamizhar Vazhvurimai Katchi, an ally of ruling AIADMK, announced staging a protest here tomorrow against the Sri Lankan government over this issue.