Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) chief Vaiko has said that on September 17 he and his party activists would leave Chennai for Sanchi in Madhya Pradesh in a convoy of 30 buses. The objective: To protest the arrival of Sri Lanka president Mahinda Rajapaksa in the world heritage site, 45 km from Bhopal, to inaugurate a Buddhist study centre on September 21.
The MDMK as well as the DMK have been protesting Rajapaksa’s visit as they hold him responsible for the death of thousands of Tamils during the civil war in the island nation.
Speaking to HT, Vaiko said, “Many others would leave by train and flight and we expect nearly 3,000 workers to be in Sanchi to hold a black flag protest against Rajapakse.” He added: “Rajapaksa’s hands are stained with the blood of innocent Tamils killed during the war in Sri Lanka.
Inspite of all the sound and fury from MDMK leader Vaiko, the state government is going ahead with its preparations to welcome Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Sanchi on September 21.
While state government officials kept mum on the MDMK leader’s letter to chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, they confirmed to HT that the arrangements are underway. “The programme will be held”, said principal secretary culture KK Singh. More than 250 delegates from outside the country would take part in it, he added.