Chennai: DMK chief M Karunanidhi on Friday led a state-wide protest here against the visit of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to India, accusing him of making efforts to "annihilate" the Tamils in the island republic.
Wearing black shirt, the protesters gathered under the banner of the Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation, which Karunanidhi had revived some months ago, and shouted slogans against Rajapaksa, who is on a pilgrimage to Tirupati and Bodh Gaya.
Karunanidhi charged the Lankan President with attempting to not only to "annihilate" the Tamil population but also erase the Tamil language.
Party Treasurer MK Stalin and other senior party leaders were present.
Effigies of Rajapaksa were burnt and lawyers boycotted courts in some parts of the state, protesting the visit.
Karunanidhi had said yesterday that the Centre should realise at least now that the island government was not keeping its promises after the Sri Lankan President had ruled out autonomy for Tamil areas.
"Now TESO was issuing a severe caution (by black flag demonstration), Rajapaksa should correct himself, and Centre also take steps to protect Tamils," Karunanidhi had said.
Addressing the 65th Independence Day celebrations on Monday, the Lankan President had ruled out greater political autonomy for Tamils, saying ethnicity-based division was "not practical" as people live together in unity and there were no racial or religious differences.