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Karunanidhi joins chorus against Mahinda visit, as protestor dies

Tamil Nadu opposition chief M Karunanidhi has urged Delhi to prevent the Sri Lankan president’s visit this week, saying that Tamils are not prepared to welcome him.

"Considering that no Tamil is prepared to welcome him to the country, the Centre should prevent his visit and also be humane at the UN review meeting," he said in DMK party organ 'Murasoli’.

Karunanidhi also expressed sadness at the death of a protestor who self-immolated in protest over Rajapakse’s visit to India.

26 year old Vijay Raj, an auto rikshaw driver from Salem set himself alight on Monday morning. In his suicide note, Vijay accused Rajapakse of killing innocent Tamils and the Indian government of supporting him.

"While DMK has never encouraged such incidents (of self-immolation) I respect his sacrifice and express my sympathies. The Centre should take note with concern the arrival of Rajapakse amidst such strong protests," said Karunanidhi.

Mahinda Rajapakse is due to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday.

"All issues of bilateral interest will be discussed. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will host a dinner for the visiting President," said an External Affairs Ministry spokesperson, who confirmed the planned meeting.