Responding to the AIADMK chief and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's opposition to inviting President Mahinda Rajapaksa to Prime Minister elect Narendra Modi’s swearing in, Dr. Subramanian Swamy said that foreign affairs is the domain of the Centre “I say that foreign policy is the domain of the Centre. It is not a state subject," Dr. Swamy said.
This invitation to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa is an invitation from one sovereign country to another sovereign neighbouring country. Constitutional principle under the 7th schedule of the Constitution makes it clear that international relation is the exclusive right of the Central government. State governments have no say when it comes to foreign relations. We follow democratic principles of consultation and seek the views and opinions of the state governments. But, it is not a Constitutional right. The Centre can try to build a consensus. That's it, he said speaking to television channel IBN Live.
Excerpts of Dr. Swamy’s interview:
There is a series of allegations of human rights violations against the Sri Lankan government. It happened even during the second World War in which millions of civilians died. When America dropped nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, only the civilians died, no military personnel died. Human rights are a collateral damage in a war. Even the LTTE is also equally responsible for the death of thousands of civilians. Of course it was a war. Even the LTTE has been indicted by many for the loss of lives and human rights violations.
What way the Tamils in Tamil Nadu or their government in Tamil Nadu are responsible for the welfare of Sri Lankan Tamils in Jaffna? Jaffna has its own elected government. The Chief Minister of Jaffna has repeatedly requested the Indian Tamils and politicians not to interfere in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka. He feels that the Indian Tamil politicians are creating more trouble and enmity between Sinhalese and Tamils in Sri Lanka.
If India wants to do something for the Tamils in Sri Lanka, it has to deal with the elected President of Sri Lanka. We can't force the Sri Lankan government to do something, which they don't want to do. We can persuade them. They can concur with us. We can't by-pass the Constitutional provisions and established norms.
We are also facing the allegations of human rights violations in Kashmir, Nagaland and Manipur etc. How can we single out Sri Lanka? We must remember all these things.
Finally, the Lok Sabha election is an example. The MDMK chief Vaiko, who is considered very close to the LTTE, has been defeated by Indian Tamil voters. It was a humiliating defeat. Vaiko was our alliance partner. He brought us down.
Meanwhile, according to The Hindu, despite the row over the invitation to SAARC leaders ,Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party showed no signs of backing down from a move that heralds a foreign policy free from the pressures of domestic politics.
“This is essentially an attempt to participate in a joyful celebration of democracy and the invite should be seen in that context,” BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said.