June 10, 2011/ By K. Karthikeyan
It appears Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa’s Sri Lanka moves have rattled New Delhi.
Within minutes of the AIADMK supremo getting the state Assembly to pass a resolution on Wednesday demanding that India must get the UN to launch an investigation of the Sri Lankan government for war crimes, foreign secretary Nirupama Rao booked her flight to Chennai hoping to convince her to fall in line with Delhi’s Lankan policy
— which is not to push President Rajapaksa too hard lest he becomes a vassal of China.
Ms Rao arrived in Chennai on Thursday night.
Quicker was the reaction from National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon.
Mr Menon flew into Chennai by a special aircraft when the chief minister got the Assembly to pass yet another resolution on Thursday for the state government to implead itself in the petition she had filed in 2008 in her capacity as AIADMK leader in the Supreme Court seeking retrieval of Katchatheevu island.
Jayalalithaa’s case is that the Indira Gandhi government had ceded the island to Sri Lanka without the mandatory clearances from both the Houses of Parliament and the state Assemblies. Menon held a 45-minute meeting with her and left her residence without a word to the waiting media.
The state government issued a media statement soon after Menon’s departure.
Interestingly, it made no mention of either the demand for UN investigation of alleged war crimes of the Rajapaksa regime or the Katchatheevu retrieval. But then there was enough to read between the lines.
The statement said the chief minister had expressed her concern to Menon about the poor pace of rehabilitation of the war-displaced Tamils in the island and also the frequent attacks on the Tamil fishermen in the waters close to Katchatheevu.