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Rajapaksa protest: Vaiko, others detained

Posted on Feb 08, 05:13PM | IBNS

New Delhi, Feb 8 : Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) chief Vaiko and his supporters were detained in New Delhi on Friday as they protested against the visit of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to India.

Vaiko and his supporters were detained when they tried to march from Parliament Street towards the Prime Minister residence here.

According to reports, Vaiko and his supporters tried to break the barricade.

The leader was protesting against Rajapaksa's visit at Jantar Mantar since morning.

Addressing his supporters, Vaiko said: "We will not forgive the Manmohan Singh government for supporting Sri Lanka in its war against Tamils."

MDMK supporters burnt Sri Lankan President's effigy and shouted slogans against him.

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) supremo M Karunanidhi held protest against Rajapaksa's visit in Chennai.

DMK chief M Karunanidhi, whose party is a key ally in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), said Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation (TESO) is staging the protest to send a clear message to the Sri Lankan President as well as the Centre since the island government failed to keep its promise.

"Central Government should realise at least now that the island government is not keeping its promises after the Sri Lankan President ruled out autonomy for Tamil areas," Karunanidhi was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, Rajapaksa, who is on 'personal visit', went to the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya on Friday.

He will visit to the Tirupati temple on Saturday before returning to Sri Lanka, reports said.

The Lankan President is avoiding New Delhi during this trip despite concerns over how India will vote in the upcoming UN human rights meet in Geneva.

The DMK recently asked the Centre to discourage the visit of the Sri Lankan President to India, said reports.

The party criticised Rajapaksa's decision for ruling out greater political autonomy for Tamils, saying India should at least "wake up" now and help secure their livelihood and democratic rights.

"Rajapaksa has failed to honour the promise given to India and other global organisations for long on granting political autonomy with the latest announcement which should be condemned," Karunanidhi was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

Sri Lanka was accused of war crimes and human rights violations by pro-Tamil groups and many international organisations during the final phase of war against the Tamil tigers which reportedly resulted in the deaths of about one lakh civilians.