Modi's invite to Rajapaksa deeply hurt sentiments of Tamilians: DMK leader

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Chennai, May 25: Prime Minister- designate Narendra Modi's decision to invite Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa at his swearing- in ceremony hasn't gone down well with the Tamil Nadu political parties including BJP's allies like MDMK.

As a goodwill gesture, Rajapaksa on Sunday ordered the release of all Indian fishermen ahead of his visit to New Delhi to attend Modi's swearing-in ceremony on Monday.

According to an agency news, DMK leader TKS Elangovan has said the invitation to Rajapaksa "stirs anger and wrath among Tamilians".

While saying that the move has "deeply hurt the sentiments of the Tamilians", Elangovan said that Modi should have kept the pros and cons in his mind before taking such a step.

"There is no need for inviting leaders and heads of Governments of other countries as because of that only Rajapaksa is coming to India. There are sentiments of the people against some leaders of the other countries. Why should Modi invite this anger and wrath of people living in India," he told reporters on Saturday.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa would not only attend the swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi, but she won't even send any representative on behalf of her party.

Sources said the AIADMK chief was upset with Modi's invite to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to attend his swearing-in on Monday. [Read more]

On Saturday, BJP ally MDMK had announced a black flag demonstration against the head of the island republic in Delhi on May 26.

MDMK chief Vaiko compared his situation to that of the anti-Hindi agitation launched by DMK under its founder, late C N Annadurai, in 1965, saying the Dravidian veteran had only opposed imposing of Hindi and not the Indian republic.

"Similarly, while extending greetings to Narendra Modi for his thumping win and expressing my happiness over the same, I oppose the participation of Rajapaksa who is involved in Tamil genocide. Since its our duty to register our opposition, MDMK under my leadership will hold a black flag demonstration," against Rajapaksa in Delhi, he had said in a statement.

Vaiko recalled that Sri Lanka was not invited when BJP's A B Vajpayee was sworn-in in 1998-99 and the subsequent ceremonies to mark assuming of offices by the UPA in 2004 and 2009.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa's administration was pleased that it could do business with the Centre without Tamil Nadu exercising undue influence, Lanka's media minister and government spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said.

"We are very happy that there is a very strong government and Prime Minister (-elect) Modi does not have to depend on any other party for his majority. This means even if Jayalalithaa had won 37 out of 39 seats in Tamil Nadu, she would not be in a position to influence the Centre," Rambukwella told reporters.

On May 16, Sri Lankan envoy Prasad Kariyawasam was one of the first foreign representatives to react to BJP's victory.

"Sri Lanka welcomes the verdict of people of India. Soon President Rajapaksa will warmly welcome and greet the incoming PM of India", he said.

Heads of government of all eight SAARC countries, Sri Lanka included, have been invited to attend Monday's swearing-in ceremony of Modi as India's new prime minister.

This is for the first time these foreign leaders are invited to a Prime Minister's swearing-in ceremony.

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