Chennai: With emotions running high in Tamil Nadu over the Sri Lanka issue, the state Assembly on Wednesday adopted a resolution asking the Centre to stop treating Sri Lanka as a friendly country. It also calls for a referendum on a separate Eelam for Tamils in Sri Lanka and Lankan Tamils abroad.
Meanwhile, taking a potshot at arch rival DMK chief M Karunanidhi on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa pointed out that an Indian Premier League (IPL) team owned by M Karunanidhi's grand-nephew has two Sri Lankan players, including the captain.
In a statement issued in the Tamil Nadu assembly, Jayalalithaa criticised the DMK chief and accused him of having double standards when it came to the issue of Sri Lankan Tamils.
However, the latest to be dragged into the ongoing battle between the two Dravidian political parties in Chennai is former Sri Lanka cricket team captain Kumara Sangakara. He is the captain of IPL team Sunrisers which is owned by Kalanithi Maran.
Launching a tirade against the Centre and DMK, Jayalalithaa alleged that both had 'failed' to ensure ceasefire in 2009 when hostilities were at the peak in Sri Lanka. She charged Karunanidhi with adopting "duplicity" on the issue and said people were aware of it.
"How does Karunanidhi permit Sun Group's team to have two Lankan players? Karunanidhi's silence on this issue speaks of his selfishness. The people of Tamil Nadu have understood Karunanidhi's double standards." Jayalalithaa said.
But the DMK was quick to hit back at the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister. DMK leader TKS Elangovan said, "This government cannot give proper protection, she says they should not lie... She wants to involve DMK in everything. It shows she's not interested in Tamils of the island."
Meanwhile, former captain Arjuna Ranatunga slammed the decision of the cricket Board and government to allow Sri Lankan players to participate in the IPL as an endorsement of human rights abuse allegations against Sri Lanka.
The Tamil Nadu Assembly unanimously adopted the resolution urging the Centre to slap economic embargo on Colombo till the "suppression" of Tamils was stopped and those responsible for "genocide and war crimes" faced an international probe. Moving the resolution, AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa said the ongoing students protest was reflective of her government's initiate on the Sri Lankan issue even as she requested them to withdraw the stir and resume classes.
Jayalalithaa had earlier asked the Central government to move amendments to the US-backed resolution on Sri Lanka over war crimes against ethnic Tamils. "Don't just support the US-backed resolution on Lankan Tamils issue at UNHRC, but strengthen it through suitable amendments," Jayalalithaa had written in a letter to PM Manmohan. India finally voted against Sri Lanka at the United Nation Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva.
With Jayalalithaa targeting Maran, politics has hit the IPL again and all eyes will be on whether Sagakara will lead the Hyderabad team or not.
With Additional Inputs From PTI