India Protests Over Objectionable Article in SL Defence Website

New Delhi
India Protests Over Objectionable Article in SL Defence Website

India today strongly took up with Sri Lanka the issue of posting of an objectionable article of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on its Defence website, eliciting an apology from the island nation besides removal of the article.

As the issue created furore in the country, the Indian High Commission raised it with the Sri Lankan government in Colombo following which the country's Defence Ministry removed it and tendered an unqualified apology to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Jayalalithaa.

"We extend an unqualified apology to the Hon Prime Minister of India and Hon Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu," said a statement posted on the Lankan Defence Ministry website.

The article had appeared on the Lankan Defence Ministry's website along with a graphical portrayal of Prime Minister Modi and Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.

Hours after the article was published, it created a furore in Tamil Nadu with BJP allies PMK and MDMK seeking severing of diplomatic relations with the island nation.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said the Government acted with "alacrity" after knowing about the objectionable article and it drew immediate result.

"We acted with alacrity. We have achieved our objective and should any further action be required we will certainly consider this and take appropriate action," he told reporters.

"I can confirm to you that as soon as we took up the matter, we drew immediate result and to our entire satisfaction, that offensive article was removed.

"If there are further things that we need to do, we will certainly consider them," the MEA Spokesperson said. Earlier, Jayalalithtaa urged Prime Minister Modi to seek an unconditional apology from Lankan government over the article.

A statement posted on the Lankan Defence Ministry website said the article titled 'How meaningful are Jayalalitha's love letters to Narendra Modi?' had been published without appropriate authorisation and it has been removed from the website.

The MEA Spokesperson said the government had activated diplomatic channels immediately after knowing about the issue and Indian High Commission in Colombo took up the matter.

The article led to political furore accompanied by protests by AIADMK and Tamil outfits in various parts of Tamil Nadu besides NDA allies demanding India sever ties with Colombo. The DMK also slammed the Sri Lankan government over the episode.

The issue was raised in Parliament by AIADMK and demanded action by the Centre.

"We strongly condemn this (article against Jayalalithaa) and urge the Government to take immediate action on this as this infringes upon the sovereignty of our country," AIADMK member P Venugopal said in the Lok Sabha.

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