CHENNAI: Leaders of various parties including the BJP’s ideological rivals and NDA allies on Thursday hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the release of five Tamil Nadu fishermen, who had been awarded death sentence in Sri Lanka.
PMK leader S Ramadoss, an ally of the BJP, expressed happiness over the release and said the PM’s direct intervention proved that only through such drastic measures Colombo could be made to respect justice. Recalling Modi’s telephonic conversation with Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa, he said the release was possible only through strong diplomatic measures. “I welcome the steps by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and appreciate him”, Ramadoss said. He also said steps should be taken to secure the release of other fishermen and their boats.
Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi leader Thol Thirumavalavann, a staunch critic of Modi, said it was a moment to rejoice for all the Tamils and added “It is our duty to thank the Prime Minister for respecting the sentiments of Tamil Nadu people and taking direct action”. Claiming it as a victory for the sustained struggle of the people in Tamil Nadu, he said it also proved that New Delhi could pressurise the island nation, if it wanted.
Dravidar Kazhagam president K Veeramani, an ideological rival of the BJP, said “the act of Narendra Modi government in respecting the sentiments of Tamil Nadu people deserves appreciation and gratitude”. Recalling that the whole State joined to raise its voice for the fishermen, he pointed out that besides posing a threat to the livelihood of Eelam Tamils, Rajapaksa was causing a security threat to India through new ties with other countries. According to him the Modi government should bring to an end such threats by the island government.
BJP’s ally, the Kongu Nadu Makkal Katchi president ER Easwaran, who lauded Modi said Tamil people throughout the world should appreciate Modi.
DMK leader M Karunanidhi was the first to welcome the move, when reports to that effect appeared last week. He had reiterated his happiness again yesterday.