CHENNAI:Congress workers, who on Tuesday marched towards the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commission office here and tried to besiege it in protest against the provocative remarks by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe, were stopped by police.
A large number of policemen were placed around the embassy soon after the Congress announced their decision to besiege the building.
When police stopped the protesters heading towards the Lankan embassy, the Congress workers raised slogans against Wickremasinghe. The protesters led by the All India Youth Congress general secretary Abraham used footwear to beat a portrait of Ranil Wickremasinghe. They also raised slogans urging Prime Minister Modi not to visit Sri Lanka.
This was a demand also stressed by TNCC president EVKS Elangovan, who said the arrogant remarks of Wickremasinghe had preempted the possibility of a solution to the fishermen issue and the problems of the island’s Tamils.
Modi’s visit would not achieve anything and the scope for solving the Lankan Tamils problems had dimmed after Ranil’s interview. The cancellation of Modi’s visit would be the right reply to the autocracy of the island government, Elangovan said.
The island government was refusing to implement the 13th amendment which was part of an agreement between former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and former Lankan president Jayawardene.
So India too should announce that it would reconsider the Katchatheevu agreement between former PM Indira Gandhi and former Lankan Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike, the Congress leader said.
When Lanka was not implementing the agreement between the two nations, it would not be wrong to reconsider another agreement, Elangovan said.
As the sea between the two countries was very narrow, an agreement beneficial to fishermen of both the countries was needed. But, Ranil’s comments had shut the doors on the possibility of any such agreement, Elangovan said.
The previous Lankan regime under Mahinda Rajapaksa was delaying devolution of powers, citing terrorism.
Even after the civil war ended and a government formed in the Northern Province under CV Wigneswaran, the island government refused to provide equal rights and opportunities to Tamils, he said.