President lands in India on State visit

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived in New Delhi on Wednesday on a three-day State visit.

Rajapaksa, who landed at the Air Force Station, Palam, was received by Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and Planning, Ashwani Kumar.

The Sri Lankan President is scheduled to meet his Indian counterpart on Thursday, followed by a meeting with Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh at his 7 Race Course Road residence the same evening.

Rajapaksa will depart for Sanchi in Madhya Pradesh on Friday morning, where he will visit Sanchi Stupa and participate in the foundation laying ceremony of University of Buddhist and India Studies.

Rajapaksa’s visit comes at the backdrop of staunch opposition from the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) general secretary Vaiko, who has criticised the Centre as well as BJP-led Madhya Pradesh government for inviting the Sri Lankan President to Sanchi.

“Despite knowing that Rajapaksa is solely responsible for the genocide of innocent Tamils in Sri Lanka, the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government in Madhya Pradesh has invited him, and the Centre endorsed his visit,” Vaiko, who arrived Nagpur from Chennai with over 1,000 MDMK supporters, told reporters before heading to Sanchi.

“I had strongly objected to Rajapaksa’s visit but Chouhan did not bother about our requests and went ahead to invite him. Similarly, Opposition Leader in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, also met Rajapaksa recently, which we did not like,” Vaiko added. (ANI)