Chennai: Slamming the Sri Lankan government for publishing the article entitled How meaningful are Jayalalithaa’s love letters to Narendra Modi? on the official website of the ministry of defence and urban development along with a ‘highly objectionable’ visual, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Friday said that the reprehensible visual clearly indicated the mischievous views of the Sri Lankan government and not the authors.
Pointing out that although there was a disclaimer on the website claiming that the defence ministry bore no responsibility for the opinion expressed by the contributors, Jayalalithaa stated that the visual depicting the Prime Minister of India and the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu was not part of the article but deliberately put on by the website itself.
“The article itself contained unwarranted and unfounded comments about the very valid and serious issues that I have consistently been raising related to the repeated instances of harassment by the Sri Lankan Navy of fishermen from TN,” she stated.
Jayalalithaa blamed the author(s) of the article for ascribing motives to her without any basis at all, including the insinuation that she demanded release of nabbed boats of TN fishermen as some of those boats may belong to her or her supporters. “This is a vile, distasteful and baseless allegation. The article also tries to create fissures within India’s federal polity by making statements that the TN CM was attempting to dent the popularity of PM,” she said.
Terming the publication of the piece completely unacceptable, the CM said that the website was clearly aimed at denigrating the elected leaders of India and particularly a 66-year-old woman political leader of many years standing. She urged the external affairs ministry to seek an unconditional apology from the Lankan government.
The Indian high commission in Colombo raised the matter with the Sri Lankan government following which the defence ministry removed the article and tendered an unqualified apology to Modi and Jayalalithaa. “We extend an unqualified apology to the Hon Prime Minister of India and Hon Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu,” said a statement posted on its website. “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,” it added.
India’s external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said the government acted with “alacrity” after knowing about the objectionable article and that resulted in immediate result. “We acted with alacrity. We have achieved our objective and should any further action be required we will certainly consider this and take appropriate action,” he told reporters in Delhi.