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Jan 31, 2009 at 11:54pm IST

Chennai youth suicide triggers more protests

Chennai: Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) leader Vaiko on Saturday said the suicide by K Muthukumaran on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue had ignited the 'fire for a volcano of protests' in Tamil Nadu against the Centre's "inaction" on the issue.

Speaking to reporters at the funeral procession of Muthukumaran at Kolathur here, Vaiko said "the whole of Tamil Nadu is going to erupt like a volcano to condemn Centre's supply of arms to Sri Lanka for its genocidal attack against Tamils."

Describing Muthukumaran's death as a "sacrifice," he said it should awaken the people of Tamil Nadu.

PROTEST FALLOUT: The suicide of the Chennai youth has ignited a 'fire for a volcano of protests', said Vaiko.

"No force hereafter can stop the volcano," he said, apparently hinting at more state-wide protests on the Sri Lankan issue.

Muthukumaran set himself ablaze on Thursday "to express solidarity with the Sri Lankan Tamils". Friday's violence delayed his funeral.

In his dying declaration he said that he wanted his body to be used as a "trump card" to exert pressure on the Central Government to strike a ceasefire in Sri Lanka.

Protestors now say they won't cremate his body till the Centre steps in.

Meanwhile, colleges across Tamil Nadu will remain closed from Monday, the state government announced on Saturday in view of students' protests over the situation in Sri Lanka.

Colleges will remain closed from Monday "due to the prevailing law and order situation", Chief Secretary K Sripathy said in an official release.

Several organisations including those of students have been holding protests and demonstrations in the state over the suffering of Tamil civilians in northern Sri Lanka amid the armed forces' campaign against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.