Colombo, December 6 (The New Indian Express): Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has said that Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa was a leader “dearly loved by her people.” In a tweet following Jayalalithaa’s death on Monday, Sirisena expressed his condolences to “her loved ones and the people of Tamil Nadu.”
Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is now a key figure in the Sri Lankan opposition, said in his tweet: “Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa captured the hearts of India’s Tamil community. My condolences to the family and people of Tamil Nadu.”
Speaking in the Northern Provincial Council on Tuesday, the Chief Minister of the Northern Province, C.V.Wigneswaran, said that Jayalalithaa set an example to women by the determined way she fought male chauvinism to reach the top.
Referring to a TV interview Jayalalithaa had given to Indian actress-journalist Simi Garewal, Wigneswaran said that Jayalalithaa’s life showed how circumstances could change one’s life radically. Circumstances had transformed a studious, soft spoken girl from a well heeled family into an “iron lady”, he said.
“Under Jayalalithaa’s leadership Tamil Nadu progressed in the economic, social and other fields. She was interested in Tamil, and in the Tamil people, and took up their issues pointedly. She wanted the Tamil people of Sri Lanka’s North and East to be able to govern themselves. Arrangements were being made for me to meet her, when she took ill,” Wigneswaran said.
The Spokesperson for the Sri Lankan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mahishini Colonne, said in a tweet: “As the people of Tamil Nadu grieve the loss of their beloved leader Jayalalithaa Ji, we in Sri Lanka share their pain. May Amma rest in peace.”