TN allies ask Modi to rethink invite to Rajapaksa

TN allies ask Modi to rethink invite to Rajapaksa

TN allies ask Modi to rethink invite to Rajapaksa

Rajnath to take up issue with PM-elect

Two NDA allies—the MDMK and the PMK—have urged Prime-minister-to-be Narendra Modi to reconsider his invitation to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to his swearing-in ceremony.

MDMK chief Vaiko met with Modi and BJP president Rajnath Singh to convey his opposition to the invitation, while PMK chief S Ramadoss issued a statement in this regard in Chennai.

“Rajapaksa is the butcher of Tamils. Modi should reconsider the decision to invite him (for the swearing-in ceremony),” Vaiko told reporters after meeting Modi. Vaiko did not confirm a response from Modi, but said he had requested Rajnath Singh to take up the issue with Modi.
Vaiko gave examples from the past, saying even Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh had not invited the then Sri Lankan presidents for their swearing-in ceremonies.

On suggestions that Saarc leaders were invited to improve diplomatic ties, Vaiko asked what the diplomatic necessity was “when hundreds of thousands of Tamils were murdered” in Sri Lanka.

Vaiko refused to reply to queries on whether he would boycott the swearing-in ceremony in the event of Rajapaksa participating. “I am waiting for a decision from Narendra Modi,” he said.

“Respecting the feelings of the people of Tamil Nadu, the invitation to Rajapaksa for the swearing-in of the Narendra Modi-led NDA should be reconsidered,” said PMK founder S Ramadoss in a statement in Chennai.

DMK joins protest

Meanwhile, DMK president M Karunanidhi said, “The Centre should deeply ponder on whether a person who had killed lakhs of Tamils, indulged in ethnic cleansing and someone who had waged a war against his own people should participate in the swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi, and should request them to drop the initiative.

“I want the new BJP government to realise the truth about pro-Tamil feelings at the initial stage itself,” said the DMK patriarch, who had greeted Modi and his party over their victory in the elections. 

Karunanidhi, whose party had snapped ties with the Congress over the Lankan Tamils issue, said the previous regime had turned a deaf ear on them.

On Thursday, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha had termed the invitation as “unfortunate”, saying it was “tantamount to rubbing salt in the wounds of an already deeply injured Tamil psyche”.