Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and leaders of various political parties on Monday criticised the reported decision of the Sri Lankan Cabinet to ban the Tamil version of the country's national anthem. (However, the Sri Lankan government has denied the media report that it had decided to disallow the Tamil version of the national anthem played in some parts of the Northern and Eastern provinces).

In a statement here, Mr. Karunanidhi said the decision was like adding insult to injury. “The act of the Sri Lankan government is highly condemnable.”

Communist Party of India (Marxist) State secretary G. Ramakrishnan said the decision was cause for great concern and urged the Sri Lankan government to withdraw it. CPI State secretary D. Pandian said the Centre should pressure the Sri Lankan government by stopping financial assistance for rehabilitation work.

Viduthalai Chiruthaikal Katchi (VCK) leader Thol Thirumavalavan said that by scrapping the Tamil version of the national anthem Mr. Rajapaksa had sought to suppress the fact that two ethnic groups were living in the country.

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