Jayalalithaa had towering presence in India: Sirisena

Colombo, Dec 6 (IANS) Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Tuesday said he was saddened by the death of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, who he said had a “towering presence in Indian politics”.

Jayalalithaa, who died on Monday night, was “totally dedicated to the welfare of the people she represented” and was dearly loved by her people, Sirisena said in a statement.

“India loses a leading female politician and a truly pro-poor leader, whom people fondly called ‘Amma’.

“At this time of grief, our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Tamil Nadu,” he added.

Jayalalithaa frequently denounced the arrests of Tamil Nadu fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy. Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka are separated by a strip of sea.