Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Friday landed in India, drawing widespread protests in Tamil Nadu against his ‘pilgrimage’ trip to India, media reports in India said. While MDMK leader Mr Vaiko courted arrest together with MDMK activists, who marched towards Indian Prime Minister’s residence in New Delhi, condemning the Centre and the visiting SL president, in Tamil Nadu, DMK Chief Mr M Karunanidhi was taking part in protests with DMK activists.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar received the visiting SL president at the Gaya international airport, accompanied by his wife and close confidantes.
Mahinda Rajapaksa’s first pilgrimage destination was Bodh Gaya, where Gautama Buddha is said to have attained Enlightenment.
From there, he was scheduled to visit the Hindu pilgrimage temple of Tirupati situated in Andhra Pradesh, news reports in India said.
The SL president was also on similar pilgrimage trips to India during the war against Eezham Tamils.
Tamil activists throughout Tamil Nadu staged protests against Rajapaksa’s visit to India.
The people of Idinthakarai, who are on a continuous struggle against the Koodangku’lam nuclear power plant project, staged an emotional protest burning the effigy of the SL president.
Protestors at Idinthakarai