Tamils shocked over Gotabaya Rajapaksa's victory, says DMK chief MK Stalin
Chennai, Nov 19: DMK President MK Stalin has said Tamils all over the world are "shocked and disappointed" over the victory of Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the Sri Lankan Presidential elections. He urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure the welfare of the Lankan Tamils from the "very beginning" (of Rajapaksa's term).
Stalin wanted the new Lankan president to put behind his "enmity" against Tamils and tread a new path of equality. Tamils, including those in Sri Lanka, "are shocked and disappointed" at Rajapaksa securing over 50 per cent of the votes and emerging victorious, Stalin said in a statement.
Rajapaksa's "past history is against" the Sri Lankan Tamils, Stalin said, apparently referring to his stint as Defence secretary during the peak of hostilities between the Lankan Army and the outlawed LTTE during 2009 which saw several Tamil civilian casualties. Gotabaya Rajapaksa was the defence secretary when his brother Mahinda was the Sri Lankan president.
"The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and the world knows that his past history is completely against Eelam (Lankan) Tamils and the atrocious consequences of it for which no solution has been found so far," he said, apparently referring to the alleged war crimes committed by the Lankan Army. The DMK "expects with hope" that Gotabaya Rajapaksa will leave such "enmity" against Tamils behind and realise they were also equal citizens before the Constitution, Stalin said. The new Lankan president should work with a humanitarian and egalitarain approach as it will constitute a "new path" in his political journey, he added.
"Prime Minister Modi, who has greeted Gotabaya Rajapaksa, and the Central BJP government should take all steps to ensure the welfare and rights of the Tamils right from the beginning (of Rajapaksa's term)," he said. This was the expectation from Tamils across the globe, the DMK chief said. In the Sri Lankan Presidential polls, Rajapaksa had defeated Sajith Premadasa by more than 13 lakh votes, the election commission announced on Sunday. Rajapaksa secured 52.25 per cent votes while Premadasa bagged 41.99 per cent of the total votes polled.