CHENNAI: In a mixed response to the big victory of Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the Sri Lanka People's Party (SLPP) candidate in the Island-nation's Presidential polls on Sunday, the DMK leadership on Monday blew hot and cold over the return of the Rajapaksa brothers at the helm, known for their anti-Tamil stance.
The stunning victory of Gotabaya Rajapaksa polling over 50 per cent of the votes, who was Defence Secretary during his elder brother Mahinda Rajapaksa's earlier tenure that ended the protracted civil war with the LTTE in 2009 and that involved substantial loss of innocent human lives, has “shocked and disappointed” Tamils worldwide including the Sri Lankan Tamils, Stalin said in a statement here.
Adverting to the earlier Rajapaksa's regime's pronouncedly anti-Tamil stance and the “horrors unleashed” during the last phase of the 'Eelam War', Mr. Stalin said the controversies arising out of that military offensive against the Island-Tamils had drawn international concerns including that by the U.N. and the “problems have not been resolved yet.” “The entire world knows this,” the DMK chief said.
In this backdrop, Gotabaya Rajapaksa in his new role should “extricate himself” from the “revengeful, hegemonic attitude of the past against the Island Tamils and act per his conscience, genuinely conferring equal rights to the Tamils and treating them as equals in a compassionate and fraternal way,” Stalin urged.
Such an approach alone could make Gotabaya Rajapaksa's new innings in politics meaningful and purposeful, Stalin said, adding, “this is what the world community and the DMK expects with hope” from the new Sri Lankan President.
The DMK leader expressed similar lofty sentiments in a tweet earlier in the day, saying the new President of Sri Lanka, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, should realise that Tamils in the Island were entitled to all the rights like other communities under the Sri Lankan constitution.
Mr. Stalin also took the opportunity to send out an appeal to the Indian Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, saying that while the latter congratulated Gotabaya Rajapaksa on his poll win, Mr. Modi-led BJP government at the Centre, from the very beginning, should take all necessary steps to ensure that the rights and freedoms of the Tamils and Sri Lanka were ensured by the new regime there. “This is the expectation of Tamils all over the world,” added the DMK leader....