Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Wednesday sought to highlight the plight of Sri Lankan Tamils in her Independence Day address from the ramparts of Fort St George by urging the Centre to prevail upon the Sri Lankan Government to take steps to alleviate the suffering of Tamils in the island-nation.
“We are celebrating the Independence of the country and at least now India should prevail upon the Sri Lankan Government to ensure that our [internally-displaced] Tamil brethren living in camps are rehabilitated in their own places and secure rights on a par with the Sinhalese,” she said.
Ms. Jayalalithaa, who hoisted the national flag for the 12th time as Chief Minister, announced an increase in the monthly pension of freedom fighters, hiking the amount to Rs. 7,000 from Rs. 5,000.
Similarly, the family pension to legal heirs of freedom fighters has been increased from Rs. 2,500 to Rs. 3,500. Medical allowance for the pensioners will be Rs. 500 per month instead of Rs. 100.
The Chief Minister said that while everyone was entitled to freedom, one should not misuse that right.
“Maintaining dignity and discipline alone can be rightly described as true freedom. My government is functioning in such a way to ensure true freedom for everyone,” she said, reiterating that if anyone took advantage of the freedom and caused inconvenience to others and general public, action would be taken against them in accordance with the law.
She proceeded to quote an MGR film song, “Oru thavaru seithaal, Atrai therinthu seithaal avan thevan endraalum visa maateyn” (No one who deliberately committed a mistake will be spared, even if he happens to be God).
Ms. Jayalalithaa said that her government was taking steps to ensure uninterrupted power supply and also fill vacancies in various departments.
The 15-month AIADMK rule had achieved many things and food production in the State had gone up to 106 lakh tonnes [during 2011-2012] against 76 lakh tonnes in the previous year. Though the coverage of kuruvai cultivation had come down because of Karnataka’s refusal to release the Cauvery water, the 12 hour-power supply to farmers had caused covering of 1.37 lakh acres this season, she said, adding the samba crop prospects were good.