A prominent and controversial Tamil Nadu politician, Y. Gopalaswamy – aka Vaiko – the General Secretary of the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) told to the Colombo media that his party will lay siege to Indian Premier Manmohan Singh’s residence on 8 February, in protest of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s visit to India.

On a telephone interview, Vaiko said Sri Lankan President has been in the international limelight for many years for alleged war crimes, unaccountability of death and disappearances of the Tamils during the last phase of the war and so he should not step into a holy place such as Tirupati temple.

Rajapaksa will leave on Friday to visit Bodh Gaya in Bihar and then Tirupati.

“We will also be at the Triupati temple protesting as well,” MDMK leader said.

He added, “India is a co-conspirator with the Sri Lankan Government and every time an embargo on Sri Lanka is speculated, the Indian Government shamelessly invites the Sri Lankan President.”

“Last year too when Mahinda Rajapaksa came to Sanchi to worship at the Buddhist temple in Madhya Pradesh, we went on a major protest.”

When asked why his protests do not yield results in the end, Vaiko said angrily, “It is true we cannot fight big powers, but our motive is to show our displeasure to the world that we, on any ground, do not want the Sri Lankan President to step into the Indian soil and he should be tried in the International Court of Justice. We will keep on reminding the international community through protests that the President of Sri Lanka should one day answer the international queries posted to him.”

He also said the Sri Lankan Government should not worry about the Sri Lankan refugees in Tamil Nadu because they can take care of them.

“Rajapaksa should first bring the devolution of powers for the Tamils, answer the Channel 4 video with evidence. Last year, at the Sanchi protest, I told the media and the officials if the Sri Lankan President comes to India again, I will hold a huge protest in front of the Indian PM’s residence and that is what I am getting ready for,” he added.




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