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US groups pay tributes to Jayalalithaa

Hillary Clinton and J. Jayalalithaa

New York, Dec 7 (UITV/IANS)- The American Tamil Sangam (ATS) and the US Friends of AIADMK (USFAIADMK) have paid tributes to the late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.

"Struggle was her middle name and victory was her last name," ATS President Prakash Swamy said in a statement. Recalling the various adversitites she had faced, he said: "Her path was strewn with thorns and rocks but she overcame all with her unmatched grit and determination."

USFAIADMK President Koshy O. Thomas said Tamils all over the world have lost a leader who was a mother to them. "We have become orphans and no words can console us," he added.

ATS Chairman John Joseph eecalled Jayalalithaa's welfare programmes, especially for women and students, and said she was a charismatic leader.

Earlier ATS and USFAIADMK had held prayers for Jayalalithaa's recovery at the Saneeswarar Temple in the city that was attended by Hindus and Christians.

In 2011, Hillary Clinton, who was then the Secretary of State, met Jayalalithaa at her office in Fort St. George in Chennai. A press release issued at that time said that they had discussed the problems of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees and social welfare programmes.

An ATS press release said that at initiative of the then-Deputy Speaker Upendra Chivkula, the New Jersey State Assembly had issued a proclamation honouring Jayalalithaa after her election in 2011.