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Appalled at plan to sell warships to Lanka: CM

Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Wednesday wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urging him to cancel the agreement to provide support to the Sri Lankan forces by supplying naval warships.

Published: 12th September 2013 08:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th September 2013 10:30 AM   |  A+A-

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Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Wednesday wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urging him to cancel the agreement to provide support to the Sri Lankan forces by supplying naval warships.

Jayalalithaa said she was shocked to see media reports in which Union Minister of State in the PMO, confirming that the Centre was in the process of supplying two naval warships to Lanka. In this connection, she said the warships could be potentially deployed against Indian fishermen in the Palk Bay and Gulf of Mannar.

“Though the Union Minister had indicated that he would convey the feelings of the people of Tamil Nadu in this regard, what amazes me is that the Centre could even contemplate such a move. Even if there is a commitment under an old agreement for such supply of naval warships, in the present circumstances, the Centre ought to have cancelled such an agreement”, she said.

Recalling her many letters in the past relating to India’s relations with the present regime in Sri Lanka, Jayalalithaa observed that there was a deep and widespread sentiment prevailing amongst all sections of society in Tamil Nadu about the need to hold the Lankan regime accountable for the acts of genocide.

The Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly had passed a historic resolution demanding that India stop terming Sri Lanka as a “friendly nation”. There have been protests against the training given to Sri Lankan military personnel in training establishments in Tamil Nadu, she pointed out.

The Chief Minister also observed that the Sri Lankan regime, which failed to respond positively to international pressure, had intensified its actions to deprive Tamils of even their limited political rights by proposing to dilute the 13th Amendment.  Besides, they had also intensified their actions against poor Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu fishing in the Palk Bay and 97 fishermen continue to languish in Lankan prisons losing their livelihood and suffering considerable mental agony.

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