Chennai, May 23 IANS | 5 months ago

DMK president M. Karunanidhi, PMK founder S. Ramadoss and MDMK leader Vaiko Friday attacked India's decision to invite Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the swearing in ceremony of Narendra Modi as India's new prime minister Monday.

The three leaders added voice to the objection raised a day earlier by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK leader J. Jayalalithaa. All of them blame Rajapaksa for the alleged deaths of thousands of Tamils in the war against the Tamil Tigers that ended in 2009.

The invitation to Rajapaksa and his decision to attend the Monday ceremony cannot be welcomed by the people of Tamil Nadu, Karunanidhi said in a statement issued here.

Ramadoss urged the government to revisit the invite to Rajapaksa. He said he should have never been invited at the first place.

Vaiko flew into New Delhi Friday and met BJP president Rajnath Singh to express outrage over the invitation extended to the Sri Lankan president.

"When Atal Bihari Vajpayee became the prime minister, he did not invite the Sri Lankan president for his swearing-in ceremony. Why is he being invited now?" Vaiko asked at a media meet here.

An ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Vaiko described Rajapaksa as a "butcher of Tamils" and accused him of committing "genocide of thousands of Tamil women, children and unarmed people".

"It will be the saddest day for Tamil Nadu and Tamils all over the world when Rajapaksa comes to India," he said.

All major political parties in Tamil Nadu barring the BJP and the Congress have opposed Rajapaksa visit.

On Thursday, Jayalalithaa termed the invitation "unfortunate" and said it was "tantamount to rubbing salt into the wounds of an already deeply injured Tamil psyche".

Heads of government of all eight South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries, Sri Lanka included, have been invited to Modi's swearing-in ceremony Monday.

Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh have accepted the invitation. Pakistan is yet to decide.

(Posted on 23-05-2014)

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