Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa prays at Tirupati

Last Updated: Sat, Feb 09, 2013 11:30 hrs

Notwithstanding protests, Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his wife Shiranthi offered prayers to Lord Venkateswara at famous Hindu shrine in Tirupati on Saturday.

The President was in the shrine for about 40 minutes. He also took part in the 'Suprabhatha' recitation ritual in the sanctum sanctorum before offering his prayers to the deity.

Reacting to the widespread protests against his visit over rehabilitation of Tamil minority, Rajapaksa said every body had the right to protest in a democratic country like India.

He also urged reporters to visit Sri Lanka to see the rehabilitation.

"(Q. What about your India tour sir?)

A. Very good, I feel much better.

(Q. There have been a lot of agitations going on in and around AP (Andhra Pradesh) and Tamil Nadu. What is your reaction sir?")

A. Nothing, What can I do? This is a democratic country.

(Q. Do you what to say something to Tamil people sir?)

A. Come and see for yourself, what is happening there," said Rajapaksa.

The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) has been protesting against Rajapaksa visit, accusing him of genocide of the minority Tamil population in the island nation during the civil war, which ended in 2009.

The U.N. report reinvigorated calls from human rights groups and expatriate ethnic Tamils for an international investigation into suspected war crimes towards the end of the conflict with the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). (ANI)

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