Closer security ties with Lanka will be seen as major diplomatic blunder: NTP leader Ayyanathan

Chennai, Oct.22 (ANI): The National Committee Head of the Naam Tamilar Party (NTP), Ayyanathan, on Wednesday said that the NDA Government must not commit a major diplomatic blunder by cementing 'so-called' security ties in the south with Sri Lanka and China.

"So far, India has been telling that for our southern security, we need to have Sri Lanka on our side. Chinese are already in control of the southern tip of Sri Lanka, soon they will move closer. Now, what is the point in saying that this is for our security. Are you sharing your southern security with the Sri Lankan Government and China? This is ridiculous, it is a diplomatic blunder," Ayyanathan told ANI here.

He said that the Government of India should have stayed with Tamils and should have negotiated both security and welfare of Tamils with Sri Lanka.

"You should have stayed with the Tamils, ensured their political rights and negotiated on par with Sri Lanka, both security and Tamil welfare. You have decimated Tamils and you are going with Sri Lanka, but Sri Lanka is going with China. This is the mockery of southern security of the country," he said.

Ayyanathan further said Chinese assistance to enhance port facility in Sri Lanka poses a huge security threat.

"Sri Lanka is already sharing its region, its ports with China. Even recently when Chinese President visited India, before that he had visited Sri Lanka and at that time they signed an agreement to enhance the port facility at the cost of 1.4 billion dollars. This poses a huge threat. So far, India has been telling that for our southern security we need to have Sri Lanka on our side," he added.

Ayyanathan's remark comes ahead of the Sri Lankan Naval Chief' Vice Admiral Jayantha Perera's visit to India.

Meanwhile, DMK leader Elangovan was also critical of Vice Admiral Perera's visit.

"They are accused of human rights violation. How can we allow an agreement with the Sri Lankan defence forces?" he said.

Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa had earlier on met Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and discussed a number of issues, including stepping-up military ties between the two nations.

India reportedly is taking measures to step up defence cooperation with the neighboring countries in Indian Ocean including Sri Lanka to counter China's growing strategic influence in the region. (ANI)