DMK president M. Karunanidhi and Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) general secretary Vaiko added their voice to the chorus of objections to the visit of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to India.
Mr. Rajapaksa has been invited by the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj to Madhya Pradesh on September 21 to lay the foundation stone for a Centre for Buddhist Studies at Sanchi which falls under her constituency Vidisha. The function coincides with celebrations to mark 2,600 years of Buddha’s enlightenment.
Speaking to reporters here, Mr. Karunanidhi said that he was in full agreement with those who were opposing the visit of Mr. Rajapaksa.
Mr. Vaiko said that he would lead a black flag protest at Sanchi if his demand for the cancellation of the visit was not heeded to. “Buddha spurned all pleasures of life, lived in forests and preached compassion and love. Mr. Rajapaksa does not qualify even to utter the name of Buddha.”
Recalling the promise made by A.B. Vajapayee when he was Prime Minister that India would not sell weapons to Sri Lanka, Mr. Vaiko said he had even made arrangements for the medical treatment of LTTE’s adviser Anton Balasingham.
Earlier, when asked about Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s decision to send home a team of football players from Sri Lanka, who were here to play friendly matches, the DMK leader wondered whether Ms. Jayalalithaa had any moral right to speak up for the Sri Lankan Tamils. “Was it not she who adopted a resolution in the Assembly seeking the arrest of LTTE leader Prabakharan? Did she not justify the killing of Tamils in Sri Lanka, saying that the death of innocent civilians was inevitable in war?”