Chennai: The opposition cannons fell silent yet again as Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Sri Lanka on May 12 — his second trip to the island nation in two years, to reinforce the traditional connect between the two nations. His two-day visit to Sri Lanka (to attend the biggest Buddhist festival 'Vesak Day' as its chief guest) at Colombo from May 12 to 14, saw no strong reaction in the Dravidian state.
Mr Modi’s second visit comes at a time when China is trying to make inroads in the island nation. “Sri Lankan Minister Mano Ganesan fees Indian origin Tamils feel assured and confident under President Maithripala's government but will the Eelam merchants here agree?” asks BJP national secretary H. Raja. On why there is no protest to the PM's visit in Tamil Nadu, he explains, “the reason is after the advent of the Modi government here, the Lankan government started giving more importance to Tamil specific projects in Sri Lanka and since the Indian government is showing much interest in welfare and rehabilitation of the Tamils there and Sri Lanka is understanding and cooperating. That is why there is not much agitation here.”
He claimed that the problem of Tamils in Sri Lanka is not a tenable commodity, as Mr Modi is taking personal interest. “And that's why these people are keeping quiet, there is no agitation or derisive comments on the official visit,” he said and opined that he felt confident that Indian fishermen issue and also the Lankan Tamils' problems will be resolved amicable.
Echoing in similar vein, BJP state secretary K.T. Raghavan said “even during his earlier visit (to Jaffna) there has been no protest. He is instrumental in a way for the betterment of Lankan Tamils. After he became Prime Minister he has taken steps to restore dignity and lifestyle of the Sri Lankan Tamils. In addition to 4,000 houses he has announced additional 10,000 houses in up country areas in Sri Lanka. These are positive developments.”
Those in TN are aware that due to PM's initiative, the presence of army is northern province has minimised. “As against the killing of 700 Indian fishermen during UPA I and II regimes, the NDA rule has not seen the slaying of Indian fishermen but for a single incident,” Mr Raghavan added.
Hailing the visit, Union Minister of State for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Pon Radhakrishnan said Mr Modi's trip would brighten the lives of the Tamils there.
Tamil superstar Rajinikanth, who was expected to visit Sri Lanka in April to inaugurate a 150 houses built for displaced Lankan Tamils at Vavunya., had to cancel the trip owing to protests from the Tamil outfits in the state.