Karunanidhi leads DMK's 'black' protest against Sri Lankan President's visit to India

Karunanidhi leads DMK's 'black' protest against Sri Lankan President's visit to India
Chennai The DMK is holding a demonstration today in Chennai to protest against the visit of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is scheduled to arrive today.

Party chief M Karunanidhi, who is leading the protests in black outfit, said the protest under the banner of the Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation (TESO) is aimed at sending a clear message to the Sri Lankan President as well as the Centre. The DMK chief, whose party is a key UPA ally, said the "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."

The Lankan President, who is on a 'personal visit', will fly from Colombo to Bodh Gaya first and then proceed to the Tirupati temple, before returning to Sri Lanka tomorrow night or on Sunday.

The DMK had recently asked the Centre not to encourage the visit of the Sri Lankan president to India. The party strongly criticised Mr Rajapaksa for ruling out greater political autonomy for Tamils, saying India should at least "wake up" now and help secure their livelihood and democratic rights.

"Mr 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," DMK chief M Karunanidhi said in a statement on Wednesday.

Pro Tamil groups and many international organisations have accused Sri Lanka of war crimes and human rights violations during the final phase of war against the Tamil tigers in which around one lakh civilians were reportedly killed.

The Sri 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.

(With inputs from Agencies)

Story First Published: February 08, 2013 09:40 IST

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