Indian police took effective action to prevent any disruptive acts by the Tamil elements opposing the invitation extended to Sri Lanka President to attend the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony. Delhi Police arrested MDMK chief Vaiko as he was leading a protest against Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa's arrival in New Delhi for the swearing-in ceremony of India's 15th Prime Minister Modi.
Earlier, AIADMK chief and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa was reported to have decided to skip the swearing-in ceremony of Modi, who has invited South Asian Association of Regional Co-operation (SAARC) leaders, including Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is carrying a "message of peace", he has said.
Only a day before the swearing-in, Pakistan and Sri Lanka freed Indian fishermen. Jayalalithaa had said while the sentiments of Tamils living in India and elsewhere towards the Sri Lankan Tamils were known, a change of regime at the Centre "in no way alters the already existing strained relations between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lank
The Bharatiya Janata Party, playing down protests from its Tamil Nadu alliance partners over participation of Sri Lankan president Rajapaksa at Narendra Modi’s swearing-in, the BJP suggested this would not have a long-term impact on its alliances.
“They have been taking this line for a long time. We are allies and we do not think the need to converge on all matters,” Muralidhar Rao, BJP general secretary in-charge of Tamil Nadu, said.
Alliance partner MDMK’s chief Vaiko Friday met BJP president Rajnath Singh to register his protest against Rajapaksa’s participation in the ceremony.
Apprehending that the competitive politics among parties in Tamil Nadu over the Sri Lankan Tamils issue may lead to top alliance leaders skipping the ceremony, Rao indicated the party will try to reason with them — but only up to a point.
“We will try to convince them about our intentions of inviting and engaging with Sri Lanka. It should not be taken as conceding ground (on the Sri Lankan Tamil issue). We will like to have them at the ceremony as our alliance partners. But we will try to convince them on the above lines only,” Rao said.
Protests intensified on Sunday across Tamil Nadu to protest against Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa's visit to India. May 17 movement, a civil rights group staged a protest against his visit in Chennai.