AIADMK chief J. Jayalalithaa, 61, vowed on Wednesday to send the Indian army into Sri Lanka to carve out a separate Tamil Eelam state for Sri Lanka Tamils, if her party joined the next government at the Centre and had the numbers to play a decisive role in it.
Speaking at an election rally in Musiri, on the banks of the River Cauvery, about 400 km from Chennai, she drew a parallel with then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s action of sending Indian troops to liberate Bangladesh from Pakistani rule in March 1971.
“We will respect international laws and norms just as Indira Gandhi did,” she said to thunderous response from a huge crowd. “Her son Rajiv Gandhi too sent the Indian Peace Keeping Forces into Sri Lanka,” she added.
With one LTTE stronghold after another falling to the advancing Sri Lanka army in recent months, political parties in Tamil Nadu have been competing with one another to express their concern for the Tamils across the Palk Straits trapped in the conflict zones.
Jayalalithaa had never shown excessive concern for the Sri Lankan Tamils earlier. On the contrary, she had been a votary of strong action against the LTTE for its terrorist activities. But clearly electoral compulsions have forced to take a position more extreme than that of the other Tamil parties.
At another rally in Namakkal, Jayalalithaa also alleged that the recent Sri Lankan assurance to halt hostilities against the LTTE was the result of a secret deal with chief minister Karunanidhi.
“Karunanidhi wanted to take credit for solving the problem and thus went on his sudden fast,” she alleged. “But the deal is that the ceasefire will last only till the elections in Tamil Nadu are over. The Sri Lanka army will again begin attacking the Tamils after the polls.”