Vaiko opposes participation of Mahinda Rajapaksa at swearing-in

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Vaiko opposes Rajapaksa's presence
Chennai, May 21: BJP's ally MDMK today opposed theparticipation of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the May 26 swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi as Prime Minister, saying his presence would hurt the feelings of the Tamil people.

Party founder Vaiko claimed Congress was shown the door by the people of Tamil Nadu for allegedly helping Colombo in its pursuit against LTTE, "in which thousands of Tamil civilians were killed."

With "unexplainable grief" Vaiko asked Modi and BJP national president Rajnath Singh not to allow Rajapaksa to attend the swearing-in ceremony which, he said, would hurt the Tamils the world over.

"In such a situation it has come as a major jolt that invitation has been reportedly sent to Rajapaksa," Vaiko said in a statement here. Vaiko and many other Tamil political parties allege that civilian casualties of the Tamils peaked during the last leg of the war against LTTE with Rajapaksa at the helm of affairs.

The Centre's reasoning that he was part of the SAARC nations' leaders who have been invited for the swearing-in was not acceptable and his participation in the ceremony would result in "grief and regret" for Tamil people, he added.

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, he said.

PTI

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