CHENNAI: Political parties in Tamil Nadu on Friday spoke in one voice to rally behind Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, hitting out in harsh terms against the Sri Lankan government for the portrayal of the CM and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Lankan Defence Ministry website. The response quickly resulted in an ‘unqualified apology’ from Colombo.
“The added visual image on the website is clearly aimed at denigrating the elected leaders of India, the world’s largest democracy, and particularly a 66-year-old woman political leader of many years standing. These are affronts to India which cannot be ignored or lightly brushed aside,” said Jayalalithaa.
Even as AIADMK MPs raised the issue in Parliament, DMK spokesperson TKS Elangovan and Tamil Nadu Congress leaders B S Gnanadesikan and G K Vasan rallied behind the Chief Minister.
The heat on the matter was, however, somewhat toned down when the Sri Lankan Defence Ministry later pulled down the article and tendered an apology.
“The article which had been published without appropriate authorisation and not reflecting any official position of the Government of Sri Lanka or Ministry of Defence and Urban Development has since been removed. We extend an unqualified apology to the Hon Prime Minister of India and Hon Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu,” read the apology message.
“I can confirm to you that as soon as we took up the matter, we drew immediate result and to our entire satisfaction, the offensive article was removed,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said.