Some 50 people of Indian ethnicity have gathered outside the Putra World Trade Centre in Malaysia today to protest against visiting former Sri Lankan politician Mahinda Rajapaksa, whom they dubbed a “war criminal”.
The group claimed Indian Malaysians have been insulted by Rajapaksa’s presence in the country and criticised the government for according “VIP treatment” at the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) to the Sri Lankan whom they accused of having killed thousands of Tamils in his country.
“This has upset my faith in the government. I’m from MIC and I’m not happy. He has killed so many people.
“He is a war criminal but why Malaysia has allowed him in the country. He shouldn’t be given VIP treatment and chased back to his country,” MIC Youth chief Sivarrajh Chandran said during the demonstration.
Demonstrators held up banners and posters featuring his likeness horned and fanged with messages that read “Rajapaksa is a killer”, “Sri Lankan Idi Amin” and “Get Out Rajapaksa”. Some included images of bloodied victims of the Sri Lankan civil war.
The demonstrators also burnt an effigy of Rajapaksa and stepped on posters of his visage.
The demonstrators comprised members of political parties across the political divide like DAP, Gerakan and PAS’s non-Muslim wing as well as non-governmental organisations who said they were protesting in solidarity with the ethnic Indian community that have suffered during the Sri Lankan civil war.
Rajapaksa was prime minister of Sri Lanka from April 2004 to November 2005 and later became its sixth president, a position he kept for nearly a decade until January last year.
He won a 26-year war against Tamil Tiger separatists in 2009, but his military was accused of killing thousands of civilians during the final weeks of the conflict. (Colombo Gazette)