TN parties protest naming Rajapaksa as Sri Lankan PM

Political parties in Tamil Nadu have expressed concerns over Mahinda Rajapaksa being sworn-in as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. Rajapaksa has been accused of committing atrocities against Tamils in the 2009 civil war in the island nation, DNA India reported.

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. “During the Eelam war, when Rajapaksa was the president, Sirisena was part of the government. Thus, both are against Tamils,” said Vaiko.

PMK founder Dr S Ramadoss and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi president Thol Thirumavalavan also raised concerns over the return of Rajapaksa. (Colombo Gazette)

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