Rajapaksa arrives in India, to meet PM Friday

October 14th, 2010 - 6:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, Oct 14 (IANS) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived here Thursday afternoon to attend the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games as the guest of honour.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will host a lunch for Rajapaksa and his delegation, comprising Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris and Foreign Secretary C.R. Jayasinghe, at his residence Friday.

Rajapaksa is expected to inform Manmohan Singh about the steps taken by his government to resettle around 300,000 displaced Tamil civilians displaced in the war against the LTTE and his search for a political solution for ethnic minorities, official sources said.

Rajapaksa returns to Colombo late Friday afternoon.

India’s invitation to Rajapkasa to be the guest of honour at the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games has angered some Tamil diaspora groups and human rights activists, who accuse him of gross rights violations in the course of the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eeelam which ended in May last year.

More than 100 people were arrested in Tamil Nadu Thursday for protesting against Rajapaksa’s presence at the Games closing ceremony.

Some 100 people, including MDMK general secretary Vaiko, were taken into custody in Coimbatore, police said in Chennai.

Vaiko, a long-time supporter of the Tamil Tigers, alleged that while New Delhi protested when Indians were attacked in Australia, it was silent despite the deaths of many innocent Tamils in Sri Lanka.

Around 15 college students were also arrested from Salem district after they burnt Rajapaksa’s effigy, denouncing his presence at the Games.

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