CHENNAI : India’s move to lend rare fragments of the Buddha’s bones to Sri Lanka for the 2,600th anniversary of Buddha’s Enlightenment has sparked a row with pro-Ealam Tamil outfits opposing the move, claiming it to be an act of betrayal.
Addressing a gathering here in Chennai, MDMK leader Vaiko slammed Prime Minister Manhomhan Singh for yielding to the request of Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse. “When the Lankan government’s hands are stained with the blood of Tamils, sending the relics to Lanka is an unpardonable betrayal of the Government of India against Tamils,” Vaiko said.
India and Sri Lanka signed an agreement on Friday in Colombo on organisation of the exposition of the sacred Kapilavastu Relics in the island nation from August 20 to September 5. The move by the Indian government comes in the wake of the Lankan President personally requesting the favour of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh when he visited New Delhi last June. The relics were excavated by Alexander Cunningham, the first director of ASI, in late 19th century from ruins in Piprahwa, Bihar. “I have written a letter to the PM and Bihar Chief Minister against sending relics of Buddha,” Vaiko said.