MR express regrets over objectionable article


President Mahinda Rajapaksa today expressed regret over an objectionable article on Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa posted on the Defence Ministry website that triggered a furore in India.

“I regret that it has happened. I have called for a report on it," Rajapaksa told media heads in Colombo.

The defence ministry later removed the article from its website and offered an unqualified apology to India.

"We extend an unqualified apology to the Hon Prime Minister of India and Hon Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu," it said in a statement posted on its website.

Maj Gen Kapila Hendavitharana speaking on behalf of the defence ministry said the article had been posted on the Defence Ministry website without permission.

India's External Affairs Ministry yesterday summoned Lankan High Commissioner Sudharshan Seneviratne in New Delhi and lodged a protest against the article.

Seneviratne was conveyed the "anger and concerns" among parliamentarians on the issue in the strongest possible words by the Joint Secretary in-charge of Sri Lanka division in M