Lankan VIPs row: Centre to take Jayalalithaa’s consideration into account, says Krishna

Chennai, Mar 8: A day after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa urged Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to discourage Sri Lankan VIPs from visiting the state given the peoples’ sentiments, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna on Thursday assured her that the government will certainly take her opinion into account before taking any decision in this regard.

“We are a federal country and we have the greatest of respect for the rights of states. And whatever is the assessment of the state government, we certainly will take that very seriously and see how can they reconcile if there are any divergence in our approach to this problem,” said Krishna.

“But nonetheless, let me underscore the point that we have basically a good relationship and after all it’s our brothers and sisters, who speak the same language in Tamil. Generations’ back they have gone and settled there. So, taking this into account, we are helping the Tamil-speaking people, who were displaced in the recent upheavals that took place in Sri Lanka,” he added.

Krishna further informed that India is providing around 50,000 houses and a number of other facilities to the Tamil-speaking people of Sri Lanka

“We are providing 50,000 houses, we are providing a number of other facilities and the reason for providing the facility is that it is the Tamil-speaking people of Sri Lanka, who were basically affected,” said Krishna.

“And I have myself been to the north, to the south in Sri Lanka and I have seen so many schools being repaired and so many new schools being built, so many roads and railway tracks being laid. And these are all the necessary humanitarian work that Government of India is carrying on,” he added.

Jayalalithaa has in her letter to Dr. Singh said that the Union Government ought to give permission to visits by Sri Lankan VIPs and dignitaries only after consulting the Tamil Nadu Government that has to provide them security.

She also recalled few instances wherein Sri Lankan VIPs visited Tamil Nadu without prior intimation, and said it becomes difficult to take precautionary security measures. (ANI)