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Vaiko objects to Lanka invite

Vaiko

Chennai, May 21: Narendra Modi’s first move as Prime Minister-elect — to invite leaders of Saarc countries to his swearing-in on Monday — has been opposed by one of his allies from Tamil Nadu since the invitees include Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

MDMK leader Vaiko has shot off a statement saying “that Tamils were shocked and saddened that Rajapaksa, who has been accused of genocide of Lankan Tamils, has been invited to the swearing-in function and that he has accepted the invitation.”

“No Tamil can tolerate Rajapaksa stepping on Indian soil and that, too, to attend an important function when India’s Prime Minister is to take office,” Vaiko said.

The swearing-in would only cause anguish and pain to Tamils everywhere if Rajapaksa were to attend it, he added.

The Modi government’s invitation and Rajapaksa’s readiness to attend is also bound to upset other NDA allies from Tamil Nadu, such as the PMK and the DMDK.

Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa, who is on the list of invitees, is expected to boycott the event if Rajapaksa attends.

Enthusiastic to start off on a positive note with neighbours, Modi’s team appears to have overlooked the fact Rajapaksa could be a thorn in the Tamil flesh and the decision would invite the wrath of all Tamil parties.