Anti-Rajapaksa protests: Hundreds held in Tamil Nadu (Lead)

June 8th, 2010 - 10:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, June 8 (IANS) Hundreds of protesters, including MDMK leader Vaiko and Tamil nationalist leader P. Nedumaran, were arrested in Tamil Nadu Tuesday for demonstrations against Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s four-day India visit, officials said.
In Chennai, Tamil film directors Seeman and Vijaya T. Rajendar were taken into custody besides Vaiko, Nedumaran and their supporters for holding public protests.

Vaiko demanded that the Sri Lankan president be tried in an international court for war crimes.

Security was beefed up outside the Sri Lankan deputy high commissioner’s office here to prevent any untoward incident.

In Coimbatore, around 100 Tamil activists were arrested for creating a train blockade.

Protests were also held in Tiruchirappalli, Virudhunagar, Madurai, Tirupur, Karur and Thanjavur, among other places, officials said.

In Karnataka’s capital Bangalore too a small Tamil group - called Karnataka Tamil Peoples Association - held protests.

Rajapaksa is to arrive in New Delhi Tuesday evening on a four-day state visit, his first since being re-elected the island country’s president in January.

India is expected to seek reassurance on an expeditious resettlement of displaced Tamils, estimated to be between 70,000 to 80,000, who continue to live in relief camps over a year after the Sri Lankan troops militarily crushed the insurgency led by Tamil Tigers.

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