DMK president M Karunanidhi on Wednesday virtually withdrew his party’s opposition to Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse’s visit to Madhya Pradesh on September 21 to lay the foundation for a Centre For Buddhist Studies in Sanchi.
In a long statement issued on Wednesday, the DMK chief dwelt on the attack against Lankan pilgrims and said the fundamental distinction between “imparting training to Lankan military personnel in our army establishments” and the visiting sporting and cultural teams should be noted. He also blamed the Tamil Nadu government led by Jayalalitha for sending back the two Sri Lankan football teams, which was followed by the attack on visiting Lankan pilgrims on Tuesday.
Appeal for peace
Appealing for peace, Karunanidhi said: “We should not do anything here that can subject the Tamils in Sri Lanka to more distress and suffering, as lakhs of Tamils there are still struggling for survival. Raking up issues in Tamil Nadu will only make the displaced Tamils in Sri Lanka more vulnerable and complicate their rehabilitation.”
“Any attack or offensive against anybody visiting India is totally unacceptable,” he said and added: “We are only opposing Sinhala hegemony.”
Letter to CM
Meanwhile, MDMK leader Vaiko dashed off a letter to Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan on Wednesday, urging him to “cancel” the religious ceremony at Sanchi in which Rajapakse is slated to participate, as the latter’s government was responsible for the “genocide” of the Tamils in Lanka.
“I will myself lead a peaceful, black-flag demonstration of MDMK cadres against Rajapakse at Sanchi,” if the function is allowed, Vaiko added.
‘India, SL working on improving ties’
Even in the face of the violence against Sri Lankan pilgrims in Tamil Nadu, R K M A Rajakaruna, Sri Lankan Deputy High Commissioner in South India, on Wednesday expressed optimism and said Colombo’s ‘Travel Advisory’ directing its citizens to keep off Tamil Nadu would be withdrawn soon, reports DHNS from Chennai.
In an interview, Rajakaruna told Deccan Herald in Chennai that the governments of India and Sri Lanka were having consultations following the developments last week and said he was positive that normalcy would be restored and ties with India, Tamil Nadu in particular, would be enhanced. Emphasising the need to strengthen the people-to-people contacts between Sri Lanka and India, the diplomat said, “We should not give in to the unruly people making noises,” referring to the fringe Tamil outfits who attacked the Sri Lankan pilgrims on Tuesday. (Deccan Herald)