It is inevitable for the Central government to engage with the Sri Lankan establishment to bring about a permanent solution to the sufferings of Tamil Nadu fishermen as well as Sri Lankan Tamils, said BJP general secretary Muralidhar Rao.
Speaking at a seminar organized to chalk out a solution to the sufferings of Tamil Nadu fishermen at the hands of Sri Lankan Navy in the Palk Bay, Rao wondered if Modi’s government had refused to maintain any relationship with the Lankan government, how could he have saved the lives of five Tamil Nadu fishermen, who were sentenced to death in the island nation, the Times of India reported.
Moreover, to keep China at bay, India needed to have good relations with the island nation, he said. China has already marked its imprint in Lanka by taking up many infrastructure projects and it would be detrimental for both India and Lanka to allow China to expand its footprint, he added.
Even Tamils in Sri Lanka want India to maintain relationship with the Lankan establishment. Politicians in Tamil Nadu were the only ones opposing it, he said adding that they were using fishermen and Lankan Tamil issue only for electoral gains. He called upon the Lankan authorities to learn from India’s experience on how to deal with its ethnic diversity. India was committed to strengthening democracy in Lanka, he said.
He unleashed a scathing attack on AIADMK saying, “The TN government is run by proxies. The present CM is not the real chief minister”. There is no accountability for those who run the government with a remote control, the government, he said, adding that those who had ruled Tamil Nadu in the past have only brought back a bad name to the people and the state. In an apparent reference to DMK chief M Karunanidhi, he said when he was in power, he had time only to worry about corruption cases against his family members.
In what could raise hackles in Lanka, Union minister of state for public enterprises Pon Radhakrishnan, speaking on the occasion, likened Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa to Yaman, the Lord of death. Reacting to claims made by AIADMK that it was owing to the state government ‘s efforts that the five fishermen could be saved from being hanged, Radhakrishnan wondered whether Rajapaksa would listen to anyone from Tamil Nadu. “Rajapaksa is Yaman and Modi is his Yaman. That Yaman knows about this Sivan (Yaman’s master).
That is why he agreed to release the fishermen when Modi asked him to do so”. Sri Lankan MP and Tamil National Alliance leader M A Sumanthiran besides Sri Lankan Tamil scholar K Sachithananthan were among those who participated. The five fishermen who were saved from the gallows in Lanka, also attended the meeting.