Tamil Nadu leaders condemn derogatory talk of Fonseka

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 09 December 2008, 00:40 GMT]
Political leaders of Tamil Nadu, including Chief Minister Kalaignar M. Karunanidhi, condemned Monday Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Chief Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka for his derogatory comments on Tamil Nadu leaders in an interview to a Sri Lankan state-owned newspaper on Sunday. Vaiko, the General Secretary of the MDMK has announced a protest in front of the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commission in Chennai on December 10 demanding unconditional apology from the Sri Lankan Commander-in-Chief Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Army Chief Sarath Fonseka to the latter's astonishing remarks in the Sunday Observer newspaper.

"If Sri Lanka fails to extend apology, the Indian Central government should expel the Sri Lankan High Commissioner from India," Mr. Vaiko has demanded.

The Sri Lankan army chief had labeled Tamil Nadu leaders who were seeking a ceasefire in Sri Lanka as 'political jokers' and accused them of being 'corrupt'.

Fonseka's comments follow an all party delegation to New Delhi headed by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Muthuvel Karunanidhi seeking a ceasefire in Sri Lanka.

Fonseka had expressed confidence that the Indian government "is not interested in a ceasefire in Sri Lanka" as it has listed the LTTE as a terrorist organisation and added that the Indian Government would never influence Sri Lanka to restore the ceasefire with the LTTE and it would not listen to the "political jokers" of Tamil Nadu whose "survival depends on the LTTE".

When asked by the newspaper reporter about allegations of Sri Lankan security forces' disregard for civilian casualties, Fonseka replied: "These allegations are made only by the corrupt politicians in Tamil Nadu who have been bribed by the LTTE. Though they are very much aware that the civilians are not getting killed in any of these military operations they try to utter some words on behalf of the LTTE as their survival depends on the LTTE."

"This is the time for them to realise the truth. And they should also realise their attempts to save the LTTE would not be successful as the LTTE is on the brink of extinction. Most importantly, they should realise that LTTE is an internal problem of Sri Lanka and need to honour the sovereignty of Sri Lanka."

Warning that the LTTE's separate state ideology is a "threat" to India, the Sri Lankan Army chief said: "If you consider the overall thing, the LTTE's separate state ideology is a threat to India, because this ideology will spread in Tamil Nadu too. It is now proved by Tamil Nadu by staging protests against the Indian government and seeking help to take the side of the LTTE".

This is not the first time for the SLA commander to come up with such remarks. In an interview to Canada's National Post in September this year, Sarath Fonseka had said he "strongly believed that Sri Lanka belongs to Sinhalese," and that the other communities "must not try to, under the pretext of being a minority, demand undue things."

The SLA commander or his C-in-C failed to extend a public apology despite his comments had drawn protest from many political quarters.


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