The President expressed his condolences over the death of Jayalalithaa who passed away yesterday after suffering from cardiac arrest.
“Chief Minister Jayalalithaa was a leader dearly loved by her people. I express my condolences to her loved ones and the people of Tamil Nadu,” he said.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said the passing away of Jayalalithaa Jeyaram, a stateswoman who won the hearts and minds of not only the people of South India but all of India, is a sad occasion indeed.
“The people of South India elected her as their Chief Minister six times; she was not in the best of health when she won her last election yet it was a firm display of the trust people had placed in her as their leader,” he said.
The Prime Minister said although she had political differences with Sri Lanka, to her credit as a stateswoman, she maintained that the issues faced by Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen must be solved in a humane manner.
“During her life time, she did much to establish and maintain a strong sense of fellowship between India and Sri Lanka. Fondly known as Amma by her people, Jayalalithaa Jeyaram will be remembered for the selfless service she rendered unto her people,” he said.
Parliament also noted Jayalalithaa’s death with the Tamil National Alliance recalling the interest she showed on Sri Lankan affairs.
Tamil National Alliance Parliamentarian Mavai Senathirajah told Parliament Jayalalithaa was very active on the fishing dispute involving Sri Lankan and Indian fishermen.
Jayalalithaa has been pushing for the release of Indian boats in Sri Lankan custody and for a permanent solution to the issue.
She has also been a strong advocate on the Sri Lankan Tamil issue, demanding a political solution for the Tamils in the North. (Colombo Gazette)