South Asia

Sri Lanka apologises over article on Jayalalithaa

Following controversy over an article critical of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and an accompanying graphic published on its website, Sri Lanka’s Defence Ministry issued an “unqualified apology” on Friday.

“The article which had been published without appropriate authorisation and not reflecting any official position of the Government of Sri Lanka or Ministry of Defence and Urban Development has since been removed. We extend an unqualified apology to the Hon. Prime Minister of India and Hon Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu,” said the statement on the home page of the Defence Ministry’s official website.

The article was published on the Defence Ministry website, accompanied by a graphic representation of Mr. Modi and Ms. Jayalalithaa. “It was a lapse of editorial judgment on the part of the officer who was in-charge. We take full responsibility for it and deeply regret it,” Army spokesperson Ruwan Wanigasooriya told The Hindu.

Terming the visual "inappropriate", he said: "We are not a newspaper, we are a government website. This is totally unacceptable."

The views of the writer Shenali D. Waduge, a regular columnist with the state-run Daily News in Colombo, did not reflect the views of Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, or of the government, he said. “We have enormous respect for heads of state,” Mr. Wanigasooriya said.

The piece, critical of Tamil Nadu fishermen and of claims made by Tamil Nadu to Kachchatheevu, comes at a time when fishermen of both countries are expressing serious concern over the absence of a sustainable solution to the Palk Bay crisis.

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Printable version | Apr 13, 2021 2:45:59 AM |

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