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Jaya, DMK criticise invitation to Rajapaksa

Jaya, DMK criticise invitation to Rajapaksa

Chennai: Arch rivals AIADMK and DMK Thursday spoke in one voice against Narendra Modi's invitation to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa for his May 26 swearing-in as Prime Minister with Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa saying it is "unfortunate" and tantamounts to "rubbing salt into the wounds of the already deeply injured Tamil psyche."

The AIADMK supremo, a strident critic of the Rajapaksa administration, said Modi could have avoided the 'ill-advised' move of inviting the head of the island republic, especially with regard to the Centre-state relations.

Jayalalithaa's stiff opposition puts a question mark on her attending the ceremony in Delhi.

A day after MDMK, an ally of BJP, opposed the invitation, DMK said Modi should understand the feelings of the Tamil people on this matter and could have avoided the invite.

Jayalalithaa, in a statement, said while the sentiments of Tamils living in India and elsewhere towards the Sri Lankan Tamils were known, a change of regime at the Centre "in no way alters the already existing strained relations between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka."

She recalled the various resolutions passed in the state Assembly demanding an economic embargo on Sri Lanka among others over the alleged war crimes by the island nation's Army under the Rajapaksa Government against Tamils there during the final stages of "civil war".

While the UPA Government "chose to ignore" the resolutions by not acting on them, there was a hope that the new regime would be sympathetic to the Sri Lankan Tamil cause, she added.

However, this "unfortunate move" of inviting Rajapaksa "has deeply upset the people of Tamil Nadu and wounded their sentiments all over again. This is tantamount to rubbing salt into the wounds of the already deeply injured Tamil psyche," she said.

"It is with a deep sense of anguish that we point this out to the new government to be formed at the Centre.Particularly, with regard to the relationship of the new Central Government with the Government of Tamil Nadu, it would have been better if this ill advised move had been avoided," she added.

Jayalalithaa's slamming of the move came within hours after BJP's state unit disclosed that she has been invited for Modi's swearing-in. The ruling party has not announced if she would participate in the swearing-in.

Modi had attended Jayalalithaa's swearing-in as Chief Minister in 2011 and she had returned the favour in 2012 by being present when he took oath as CM in Gandhinagar.

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