Political outfits from Tamil Nadu held protests at a number of places on Friday denouncing Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s visit to the country. The Lankan leader visited Buddhism’s holiest shrine in Bodh Gaya on Friday and is set to have a darshan on Saturday at Tirupati.
MDMK chief Vaiko held demonstrations in New Delhi and DMK chief M Karunanidhi led a protest of the Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation in Chennai. Tirupati too resounded with Tamil slogans as hundreds of activists arrived to protest Rajapaksa’s visit. The president arrived in Tirupati on Friday evening for a darshan of Lord Venkateshwara at Tirumala early on Saturday.
Vaiko and his supporters were arrested in Delhi when they tried to march to the Prime Minister’s residence.
The TESO protests in Chennai provided an opportunity for Karunanidhi to revive his decades-old rhetoric about the threat to the Tamil language. “It is not just that the Tamil race is being wiped out and that it is raining blood, but the Tamil language we have striven to protect is being wiped out,” he said, on the renaming of several Lankan Tamil villages in Sinhala.