AIADMK out of all-party MPs team to Sri Lanka
IANS CHENNAI TAMIL NADU Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Wednesday withdrew her AIADMK MP from an all-party delegation set to visit Sri Lanka from April 16- 21. The team led by BJP’s Sushma Swaraj is to inspect the rehabilitation of those displaced during the war against the Tamil Tigers that ended in May 2009.
Jayalalithaa said in a statement that her MP A. Williams Rabi Bernard will stay away as the itenary does not include a meeting with the affected people and taking up their issues with President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
She said the itenary “gives importance to meeting and dining” with Sinhalese leaders and government officials and that the programme seemed to have been designed by Sri Lankan officials to create a positive image about them in India. “Further the delegation does not comprise of journalists, human rights activists and independent observers,” she said.
Jayalalithaa also came down on the Indian government for not acting on the Tamil Nadu assembly resolution to take steps to impose economic sanctions against Sri Lanka and for diluting the US resolution against Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council.
She said Colombo was continuing with “its anti-Tamil activities by attacking Indian fishermen” as well as over the rehabilitation of Tamils in the island nation.According to Jayalalithaa, the MPs’ visit will turn out to be an eyewash as it happened with an earlier team of parliamentary members belonging to the Congress, DMK and VCK parties.
Meanwhile, in a separate development, after restoring the tradition of celebrating the Tamil New year on the first of Chithirai, the AIADMK government is now planning a massive farmers’ festival this year to give a boost to agriculture.
The previous DMK regime celebrated the Tamil New Year on the first day of the month of Thai. The present government scrapped the law in this regard.
Making a suo motu statement in the Assembly on Tuesday, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said that beginning April 13, the Tamil New Year’s Day, the government would organise Farmers’ Grand Festival in all 16,564 revenue villages. A feast would mark the occasion.
“While providing exposure to farmers on the challenges of modern agriculture, the festival will prepare them to become experts in their field.
Thus, it will pave the way for a second green revolution in the State,” she said, amid the thumping of desk by the treasury benches.
Jayalalithaa said that the festival would be organised in the form of awareness camps where information on the work of all departments and benefits of all schemes would be made available to farmers.
The Agriculture Department had created a software on IT dependent crop management scheme to ensure that new crop varieties and technology reached farmers without delay.
Besides officials from the departments of agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, fisheries and dairy development, scientists from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University would be involved in the camps.