After political parties in Tamil Nadu, it’s the students who have joined the chorus of protests against the invitation to Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa for attending PM-elect Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony.
Protests in Tamil Nadu have intensified ahead of the Sri Lankan president’s visit to India. First, it was the BJP’s own allies, then the Dravidian parties. However, now students have taken to the street to urge Modi to review his decision on invite the Lankan president.
V Prabhakaran, the coordinator of Students’ Federation for Free Eelam, said, “Sri Lanka is a genocidal country. Its President killed more than two-lakh Tamils. We don’t want him to participate in Modi’s swearing-in ceremony. We don’t want any compromise other than an international investigation.”
BJP ally MDMK is planning to stage a black flag demonstration at the Jantar Mantar on May 26, the day when Modi takes the PM’s oath.
Meanwhile, DMK has said that this was not the right time to iron out difference with Sri Lanka. “This is not an occasion to call a person who is facing such heinous charges. The BJP has not invited the DMK president, a senior political leader of this country, but has invited Rajapakse. How can we accept this?” TKS Elangovan, the organising secretary and spokesperson of the DMK, said.
Even as Tamil Nadu has erupted in protests over the invitation, observers said the invitation as an opportunity for constructive talks between India and Sri Lanka which will in turn help the Tamils in the island country.
Dr Sumanth C Raman, a political analyst, said, “India should engage in constructive talks with Sri Lanka. This will help the Tamils there. Taking a hardline and cutting off contact with Sri Lanka is not going to help. Though the protests are justified, the question remains if they are of any help to the cause of Sri Lanka Tamils.” (India Today)