Modi should avoid presence of Rajapaksa at swearing-in: Vaiko

May 23, 2014 01:46 pm | Updated November 16, 2021 06:59 pm IST - New Delhi

Opposing the invitation extended to the Sri Lankan President, MDMK chief Vaiko on Friday met BJP president Rajnath Singh and demanded that the party should “avoid” the presence of Mahinda Rajapaksa at Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony.

Mr. Vaiko, who yesterday wrote a letter to Mr. Modi expressing his sadness about the invitation being extended to Mr. Rajapaksa, said he had requested Mr. Singh to take up the issue with the Prime Minister-designate.

“I have requested him to take up this request to Narendra Modi to avoid the presence of Mahinda Rajapaksa in the swearing-in ceremony,” the MDMK leader told reporters after meeting Mr. Singh in New Delhi.

Recalling that no Sri Lankan Head of State was invited when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was sworn in as Prime Minister, Mr. Vaiko pointed out that even Manmohan Singh had not invited the Sri Lankan President for his swearing in ceremony.

“They did not dare to invite Mahinda Rajapaksa to the swearing in ceremony in 2004 and 2009,” he added.

Reacting to suggestions that SAARC leaders were invited as part of the mission to improve diplomatic ties, Mr. Vaiko wondered what was the requirement for ‘diplomatic necessity’ when hundreds of thousands of Tamils were “murdered in the island nation”.

“In Geneva, at the Human Rights Council, most of the countries adopted a resolution moved by U.S. and U.K. seeking an independent international investigation against the Sri Lankan Government for the crimes of genocide,” he stated.

However, Mr. Vaiko refused to reply to queries on whether he would be boycotting the swearing-in ceremony in the event of Mr. Rajapaksa participating.

“I am waiting what decision Narendra Modi will take,” he said.

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