Sri Lanka's president Maithripala Sirisena urgeds Tamils protesting against his visit to Jaffna, not to protest against him as it would give the "devil" an opportunity.
"If you stage protests against me and I am weakened, the devil will get an opportunity," he was quoted by Ceylon Today as saying.
Mr Sirisena who was surrounded by armed officers, was confronted with protesters on Saturday as he visited Jaffna.
Sri Lankan police pushed back protesters who were holding black flags as a symbol of their anger and frustration at the government's failure to deliver on its commitments made to the Tamil people.
Mr Sirisena told a gathering later that day that he thought Tamils should hold white flags than black ones.
"I don't think they should hold black flags but instead white flags of peace and unity," he told a gathering later that day.
"No one should resort to violence and that the war only ruined the lives of the poor," he said.
"The rich escaped to foreign countries and the rest suffered. Many leaders perished, so raise white flags not black flags," the president said.