Sri Lanka apologises to Indian PM over caricature

Sri Lanka's state minister of defence Ruwan Wijewardene (L) takes part in a press conference in Colombo on April 24, 2019. - A Sri Lankan security dragnet hunting those responsible for horrifying bombings that claimed more than 350 lives has scooped up a further 18 suspects, police said April 24, as pressure mounted on politicians to explain why no one acted on intelligence warnings. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP) (Photo credit should read ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

COLOMBO, August 1, 2014 (AFP) – Sri Lanka extended an “unqualified apology” to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday over an article and uncomplimentary illustration of the leader and a regional Tamil politician published on a government website. The Sri Lankan defence ministry said it had taken down the offending caricature of Modi and the chief minister of the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Jayalalithaa Jayaram, following complaints to Colombo.

It also removed an accompanying article entitled: “How meaningful are Jayalalithaa’s love letters to Narendra Modi?”.

The article and illustration implied that Modi was being easily controlled by Jayalalithaa.

The Tamil minister has been increasing pressure on New Delhi to demand an international probe into allegations that Sri Lankan troops, largely Sinhalese, killed at least 40,000 ethnic Tamil civilians in the final stages of the civil war in 2009. “We extend an unqualified apology to the Hon Prime Minister of India and Hon Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu,” the defence ministry website www.defence.lk said.

It added that the article had been published “without appropriate authorisation”.

A formal protest had been lodged with Colombo prompting Sri Lankan authorities to make the