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