May 22,Chennai: Beginning to exert pressure on the new Indian government even before the incoming Prime Minister is sworn-in, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa has expressed her dismay on the new PM's invitation to Sri Lankan President to attend his inauguration.
In a statement Tamil Nadu Chief Minister said today that the new Government taking charge in a few days in New Delhi no way alters the already existing strained relations between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka.
The new Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi has invited all the heads of SAARC countries - Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka - for his swearing-in ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on May 26.
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, keen to better the strained relations with the neighbor, has accepted the invitation to attend the ceremony.
Recalling that the Tamil Nadu government over the last three years had passed numerous resolutions against Sri Lanka including an economic embargo, the Chief Minister said the previous government chose to ignore the resolutions and "trampled the sentiments" of the Tamils.
With the election of the new government, she said, her state had hoped that the new Government to be formed at the Centre would be sympathetic to the cause of Tamils and friendly to the State of Tamil Nadu.
"However, even before the new Prime Minister and the new Government assume office and begin functioning, this unfortunate move of inviting the Sri Lankan President to attend the Swearing-in Ceremony of the new Prime Minister of India has deeply upset the people of Tamil Nadu and wounded their sentiments all over again," Ms. Jayalalithaa said.
She said the invitation to Sri Lankan President is "tantamount to rubbing salt into the wounds of the already deeply injured Tamil psyche."
The Chief Minister suggested the new Central Government that it would be better for the relationship with the state government if this "ill-advised move" had been avoided.