COLOMBO: Will prior permission of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) be necessary for any meeting between the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa and C.V.Wigneswaran, Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Tamil-majority Northern Province?
Officials sources told Express here on Monday, that if it is going to be an official meeting, the MEA gets involved because foreign relations come under the Central List in the division of power between the Center and the States.
The MEA has guidelines for entertaining official requests for meetings with local leaders from visiting foreign dignitaries and the procedure is clearly laid out.
However, private meetings might be allowed. In that context, Chief Minister Wigneswaran could go to Chennai on a private visit on his diplomatic passport and meet the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister if she gives an appointment.
At any rate, like other Sri Lankan Ministers, Wigneswaran will have to get the sanction of Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena before he goes overseas.
If Wigneswaran wants to have an official meeting with the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, he would have to make a written request for a meeting to the Indian High Commission in Colombo, which will in turn pass it on to the MEA in New Delhi along with its recommendation. The MEA will, in turn, contact the Tamil Nadu government for its views on the request. The TN government’s reply will be sent back to Wigneswaran using the same official route.
In his congratulatory message sent to the freshly elected Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Wigneswaran had expressed a wish to have a meeting with her and Ms. Jayalalithaa had said that a meeting could take place at a mutually convenient time.
Request From Indian Origin Tamils
The Indian High Commission is already processing an application for a meeting with Jayalalithaa from the Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA), a political party of Indian-Origin Tamils led by Mano Ganeshan, Lankan Cabinet Minister of National Dialogue.
The MEA may be interested in TPA’s case because the Indian Origin Tamils in Sri Lanka are of particular interest to India. However, it remains to be seen if Jayalalithaa will give the TPA an appointment.
Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera had also requested a meeting with the TN Tamil Nadu Chief Minister but there has been no response yet, an official source said.