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Karunanidhi leads protests against Sri Lankan president's visit

Karunanidhi leads protests against Sri Lankan president's visit
Chennai DMK chief M Karunanidhi led protests today in Chennai against the visit of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse, who is visiting temples in Bihar and Andhra Pradesh over the next two days, but will not meet with Indian leaders. (Tight security in Tirupati for Lankan president's visit)

Political parties in Tamil Nadu want the Sri Lanka government to be held accountable for alleged atrocities against Sri Lankan Tamils, who are in a minority in the country.

President Rajapakse landed in Bodh Gaya in Bihar, an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists, this morning.  Students affiliated to Left parties held a demonstration there.

In Chennai, Mr Karunanidhi was surrounded by other A-listers from his party including his son, MK Stalin, his daughter M Kanimozhi and former union minister A Raja at a gathering of 3,000 DMK workers.  In a speech, Mr Stalin, who is the treasurer of the DMK, said that the Sri Lankan president has "blood-stained hands."

Last year, at the United Nations Human Rights Council session in Geneva, India supported a resolution, sponsored by the US, for 'promoting reconciliation and accountability' in Sri Lanka after its army won a 26-year-long civil war by defeating the rebel Tamil Tigers.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had been warned that if India did not vote against Sri Lanka, the DMK would pull out of the government. Sri Lanka's Tamils have long complained of persecution by successive governments.

The UN resolution asked Sri Lanka to implement the recommendations of a committee it created internally, the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) Process, to study the allegations of war crimes.

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