MP: Vaiko to protest against visiting SL president
Posted on: 11:53 AM IST Sep 18, 2012
New Delhi: Rejecting Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's appeal, MDMK leader Vaiko on Monday evening left for Sanchi where Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse is expected to arrive for a visit.
Vaiko, a strong critic of Rajapakse, has held him responsible for the killing of civilian Tamils in the war against LTTE in 2009.
Vaiko was accompanied by around 1000 supporters, who will hold a blackflag protest against Rajapakse's participation in a Buddhist function at Sanchi on September 21.
Chouhan had on Sunday written to the MDMK founder leader asking him to drop the protest move, insisting Rajapakse's visit was apolitical and that it should be seen as an endeavour to promote peace and harmony among Asian countries.
Chouhan had also assured that he stood by Tamils on the issue of human rights.
Vaiko had recently written to the BJP leader requesting him to withdraw the invitation to Rajapakse, as people in Tamil Nadu blamed the Lankan President for alleged atrocities against Tamils in the island nation.
Meanwhile in neighbouring union territory of Puducherry, a day-long bandh was observed on Monday by actor-director Seeman-led Naam Tamizhar Katchi in protest against Rajapakse's visit.
Private buses were off the roads while hotels, shops and other establishments downed their shutters. Private schools were also closed.
Tight security arrangements were made by the police to avoid any untoward incident.
(With additional information from PTI)