NEW DELHI / CHENNAI: MDMK chief Vaiko staged a protest in the national capital on Monday against the visit of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi.
Vaiko, an NDA ally, and his supporters were detained for defying prohibitory orders after they tried to break police barricade at Jantar Mantar.
Vaiko held a black-flag demonstration at Jantar Ma-ntar for nearly an hour and raised slogans against Rajapaksa before he was detained along with his supporters. “I have great respect for Naren-dra Modi and my party is a partner in the NDA. But I have come here to protest against the presence and participation of ‘Butcher’ of Tamils — Rajapaksa — in the swearing-in ceremony,” he said. He alleged that the Sri Lankan President has committed genocide against the Tamils in the island nation.
Shouting slogans ‘Chase him out, chase him out,’ the Dravidian party leader said that the ‘sanctity of swearing-in function has been polluted’ by the presence of Sri Lankan president. “Structu-ral genocide is going on aga-inst Tamils in Lanka and Modi must know and win justice to the people. I humbly submit that that it is a national problem and has to be addressed,” he said.
When asked that being part of the NDA you were protesting, he reiterated, “I am part of the NDA and it has nothing to with it. I have not come here to do party politics. I have not come to condemn the NDA government, but to make a point that brutality is happening with Tamils in Lanka. We are grief-stricken people and I have come to appeal to Mod-iji not to follow the path laid by the UPA government.”
Vaiko had written a letter to Modi expressing his displeasure over the invitation extended to Rajapaksa for the swearing-in ceremony.
Recalling that no Sri Lankan President was invited when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was sworn in as PM, Vaiko pointed out that even Manmohan Singh had not invited the Sri Lankan President for his swearing-in ceremony. He said that there must be a referendum in Sri Lanka like in the case of Crimea.
“The protesters tried to break police barricade and walk towards President Ho-use. But before doing so, Vaiko and his supporters were detained at Jantar Mantar,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police SBS Tyagi.
They were released only after the end of the swearing-in function in the eveningMeanwhile, various pro-Tamil outfits held demonst-rations at a number of places at Chennai, such as the Government Guest House at Chepauk, Qaid-e-Milleth Manimandapam off Mount Road and Valluvar Kottam.
Members of Tamizhar Munnetra Kazhagam blocked the Lalbagh Express at Perambur Railway Station, delaying the train by 20 minutes.