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Sri Lankan President faces protests in India during pilgrimage tour
Even though the two-day visit of Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa to India, which started Friday, is a pilgrimage tour, and he is scheduled to meet any union government representatives, but that doesn't stop DMK and MDMk from opposing the tour.

DMK chief M. Karunanidhi led the anti-Rajapaksa protests in Tamil Nadu in which many party leaders like MK Stalin, TR Balu and Kanimozhi participated, wearing black outfits. The protests were held under the banner of Tamil Eelam Supporters organization, which had been revived by Karunanidhi. The DMK chief accused Rajapaksa for making efforts to “annihilate” Tamils in the island republic and eradicate Tamil Language, according to The Indian Express.

MDMK chief Vaiko along with his supporters also protested at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. Vaiko was also detained by the police when he was trying to march towards 7 RCR, the official residence of the Prime Minister. He has been demanding that Sri Lankan High Commission in New Delhi should be closed down.

The various protests against the Sri Lankan president are a result of the “mass killings of innocent Tamils” during the war against LTTE. Protesters are also angry as Rajapaksa has ruled out greater political autonomy for Tamils, saying ethnicity-based division was "not practical" as people live together in unity and there were no racial or religious differences during his 65th Independence Day address.

Rajapaksa along with his wife and 70-member contingent today visited Mahabodhi Temple at Bodhgaya in Bihar. He has been welcomed by the representatives of the state government and later given guard of honor by the state police. Later chief minister Nitish Kumar hosted lunch for him. The Sri Lankan president faced protests in Bodh Gaya also.

During the second leg of his visit Rajapaksa is to go to temple town of Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh in the evening. It is expected that protests will follow him there also, so tight security arrangements have been put in place at the airport, across the 15 km road from the airport leading to the foot of the hills called Alipiri and the 18-km long hill route leading to Tirumala, the hill abode of Lord Venkateswara. MDMK has already announced that it will stage black flag protest.

According to media reports, Rajapaksa would offer prayers in the wee hours on Saturday, and he would also take part in the Suprabhatha recitation ritual by priests at the sanctum sanctorum.

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