India MPs protest over 'defamatory' Sri Lanka article

  • 4 August 2014
  • From the section India
File photo of Jayalalitha (left) with Modi (right)
Image caption Sri Lanka has apologised for the illustration of Indian PM Narendra Modi and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha

India's parliament has been in uproar over an article and uncomplimentary illustration of PM Narendra Modi and a regional Tamil politician published on a Sri Lankan government website.

Both the upper and the lower houses saw repeated adjournments after MPs from the AIADMK party disrupted proceedings.

On Friday, Colombo removed the post and apologised to Mr Modi and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.

Sri Lanka said the article was carried without authorisation.

The official website of Sri Lanka's defence ministry had carried the article with the headline "how meaningful are Jayalalithaa's love letters to Narendra Modi", writes BBC Hindi's Imran Qureshi from Bangalore.

The article was accompanied by an illustration which showed Ms Jayalalithaa thinking of Mr Modi whose face was encircled in a heart.

Correspondents said the article and the illustration implied that the PM was being influenced by Ms Jayalalithaa who had been demanding action against Colombo for arresting Tamil fishermen.

Indian Tamil parties like Ms Jayalalithaa's AIADMK say Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa's government has not done enough for Sri Lanka's Tamil community.

After India lodged a formal protest with Colombo, Sri Lanka's defence ministry offered "an unqualified apology" on its website.

But on Monday, angry MPs in both houses repeatedly shouted slogans, demanding strict action against Sri Lanka.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj "condemned" the incident and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu said India would raise the issue with Sri Lanka.

At the weekend, the Tamil Nadu government asked the visiting Sri Lankan Under-15 cricket team to leave the state capital, Chennai, due to security reasons. The cricketers were in Chennai to participate in a tournament.

More on this story