Sri Lankan Tamil leaders wish Stalin on victory

‘He has drawn the attention of Tamils world over’

As the DMK’s victory in the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections became clear on Sunday, Sri Lanka’s Tamil leaders and parliamentarians took to Twitter to wish party president and chief ministerial candidate M.K. Stalin.

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA), representing the Tamils in Sri Lanka’s north and east, said: “Congratulations to @arivalayam #DMK and @mkstalin on a decisive win in the #Tamil_Nadu legislative assembly polls,” in a tweet attributed to spokesman and Jaffna parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran.

Issuing a statement, Mano Ganesan, Opposition legislator and Leader of the Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA), which represents Malaiyaha Tamils in the island’s hill country and capital Colombo, said Mr. Stalin, in leading the DMK alliance to a big win has drawn the attention of Tamils world over. Wishing Mr. Stalin as he prepares to take on the responsibility of Chief Minister of “our fatherland Tamil Nadu”, Mr. Ganesan said: “Sri Lankan Tamils are not voters in Tamil Nadu to interfere with the results. Accepting the democratic verdict of our brothers and sisters, we must think about how to engage [with the new leadership] in ways that would help us,” Mr. Ganesan said.

Political developments, including polls, in Tamil Nadu are keenly followed in Sri Lanka where commentators often portray the State as a pressure point that could potentially influence New Delhi’s Sri Lanka policy, particularly its position on the rights of Tamils living in the island nation.

Angajan Ramanathan, Jaffna MP aligned to the Rajapaksa government at the Centre, said in a tweet: “Advance Congratulations to Hon. Chief Minister of Tamilnadu Thalapathi @mkstalin and DMK @arivalayam. My best wishes for a successful tenure!”

Sri Lanka’s Minister of Fisheries and Jaffna parliamentarian Douglas Devananda conveyed his wishes to Mr. Stalin for securing over 50 % of the votes in the assembly elections. “While wishing him on behalf of our people, I hope he will give a solution to the problems faced by the fishermen living in Sri Lanka’s Northern Province,” he said, referring to the Palk Bay fisheries conflict in which Tamil Nadu fishermen are accused of poaching in Sri Lankan waters, using destructive fishing methods including bottom trawling.  

Vice President of the Ceylon Workers’ Congress Senthil Thondaman issued a statement congratulating Mr. Stalin for his party’s big win. “Tamils across the world will stand by you,” he said.  

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