Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa yesterday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the first time since storming to power last month, armed with a resolution on the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka and seeking an economic package for her state.
Jayalalithaa met Singh for about 20 minutes at the latter’s 7, Race Course Road residence.
The AIADMK chief, who led her party to a resounding victory in the assembly polls last month, raised the precarious power situation in her state with the prime minister and called for the central government’s intervention in Sri Lanka to secure the proper rehabilitation of Tamils there.
The state assembly had last Wednesday unanimously passed a resolution urging the Indian government to impose economic sanctions on Sri Lanka and approach the United Nations to declare those responsible for the “genocide” in the island country as war criminals.
Tamils in Sri Lanka should be allowed to lead dignified lives and enjoy the same status as the majority Sinhalese community, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa said Tuesday.
The AIADMK leader also told Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that she was opposed to the Indian government’s 1974 decision to cede to Sri Lanka the Kachatheevu island, located in the sea dividing the two countries.
In her first visit to the capital after the AIADMK stormed to power last month, she said she discussed at length the situation in Sri Lanka with Manmohan Singh and National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon.
“I have stressed that what the Sri Lankan Tamils want and what we Tamilians want is to see that the Sri Lankan Tamils who are still in camps are allowed to return where they lived earlier.
“And they are allowed to lead lives of dignity with equal rights on par with the Sinhalese.”
Jayalalithaa said she had gone to the Supreme Court challenging the Indian decision to cede Kachatheevu to Sri Lanka without the concurrence of the Indian parliament.
She said she told the prime minister that Tamil Nadu fishermen who sailed to the island were harassed and tortured by Sri Lankan security forces. “The PM said he has impressed upon Sri Lanka that such ill treatment should stop. And all efforts will be allowed to see that our fishermen are allowed to fish around Kachatheevu.” (www.thehindu.com)