Ra­japaksa’s re­turn as Lankan PM touches a raw nerve in Tamil Nadu

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - INDI - DNA Cor­re­spon­dent

Chen­nai: A day af­ter Mahinda Ra­japaksa was sworn-in as the Prime Min­is­ter of Sri Lanka, po­lit­i­cal par­ties in Tamil Nadu on Sat­ur­day ex­pressed con­cerns over the de­vel­op­ment. Ra­japaksa has been ac­cused of com­plic­ity in atroc­i­ties against Tamils in the 2009 civil war in the is­land na­tion.

Chief Min­is­ter Edap­padi K Palaniswami said his party AIADMK’s stand had al­ways been that Ra­japaksa should be tried for war crimes against Tamils. “When Amma [Jay­alalithaa] was the chief min­is­ter, she had sought Ra­japaksa to be a war crim­i­nal by the in­ter­na­tional court of jus­tice. Even if she is no more, the AIADMK gov­ern­ment will stand by her state­ment.”

Sri Lanka plunged into a con­sti­tu­tional cri­sis on Fri­day af­ter Pres­i­dent Maithri­pala Sirisena sacked Ranil Wick­remesinghe from PM’s post and made for­mer strong­man Ra­japaksa the new pre­mier.

Palaniswami said the state was com­mit­ted to pro­tect­ing fish­er­men from Tamil Nadu who are of­ten ha­rassed by the Lankan Navy. The CM said he and the state fish­eries min­is­ter re­cently met Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi and stressed the need to pro­tect the fish­er­men.

DMK chief MK Stalin echoed the views of his ri­val party. “To the shock of Tamils world over, Ra­japaksa has been ap­pointed as the Prime Min­is­ter,” he said, adding that this is while the sacked Prime Min­is­ter Ranil Wick­remesinghe in­sists he con­tin­ues to be in of­fice.

Stalin said that the po­lit­i­cal de­vel­op­ments in Sri Lanka fol­lowed Ra­japaksa’s visit to In­dia and his meet­ing with PM Modi a few weeks ago and the sub­se­quent tour of Wick­remesinghe to New Delhi. Point­ing to the re­ports of Sirisena’s al­le­ga­tion of a RAW plot to kill him and his de­nial, Stalin said the Cen­tre should ex­plain its in­ter­ac­tions with the Lankan po­lit­i­cal lead­ers and the charges against RAW.

MDMK chief Vaiko re­called the pend­ing cases against Ra­japaksa in the United Na­tions Hu­man Rights Coun­cil. PMK founder Dr S Ra­ma­doss also raised sim­i­lar con­cerns.

Ra­japaksa has been ac­cused of com­plic­ity in war crimes against Tamils

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