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Sep 05, 2012 at 11:45am IST

Vaiko threatens rally against SL President's visit

New Delhi: MDMK Chief Vaiko has threatened to lead a rally of 1000 Tamils against Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse if he is invited to Sanchi in Madhya Pradesh. He has written a letter to Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, asking him to not hurt Tamil sentiments under pressure from senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj.

The MDMK chief also said that he along with party-workers will hold black flag demonstration. In his letter, Vaiko says that Sushma has invited Rajapakse to Sanchi. But sources close to the BJP leader say that she, being the Opposition leader, can't send out an official invite and that the invitation was sent out by the Prime minister himself. On Tuesday, Lankan pilgrims aborted their trip midway after facing protests in Trichy and Nagapattinam.

Earlier, Vaiko on Tuesday urged Sushma Swaraj and other party top brass not to entertain Rajapakse during his proposed visit to Madhya Pradesh later this month.

Swaraj, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, had announced that Rajapakse will lay the foundation stone for a Buddhist education centre at Sanchi in Madhya Pradesh on September 21.

A strong opponent of Rajapakse in relation to killing of civilian Tamils in Sri Lanka during the armed conflict, Vaiko said it was paradoxical that he was invited for the function as Lord Buddha "not only preached peace and tolerance but also practiced it."

"Swaraj's announcement amounts to adding insult to injury to Tamils... BJP president Nitin Gadkari and leaders like Yashwant Sinha who have genuine concern for the Lankan Tamils must take steps to cancel the invitation extended to Rajapakse. If not, I will lead a black flag demonstration at Sanchi on September 21," he said in a statement.

Vaiko said former Prime Minister and BJP veteran AB Vajpayee was compassionate towards the Lankan Tamils but Swaraj and the Madhya Pradesh government had taken a decision against Lankan Tamils' interest.

The DMK also expressed its opposition to the proposed visit of the Sri Lankan President to India. "We will take part in that opposition. We are in agreement with such an opinion," DMK Chief M Karunanidhi said.

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