Bhopal: Turning down the request made by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to MDMK general secretary V Gopalsamy known as `Vaiko` to call off his party`s protest against Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse, MDMK workers on Monday left for Sanchi to demonstrate against violation of rights Tamils in the island nation.
"We have turned down the request of the Madhya Pradesh chief minister and urged him to allow us to protest peacefully in a democratic manner against Rajapakse`s visit. Nearly 1000 people in 41 buses have left Chennai`s Marina Beach after paying respect to Anna Durai for Sanchi to stage a peaceful demonstration. Vaiko is leading the convoy of 41 buses and we will reach Sanchi by Septemeber 20-21," MDMK sources told PTI from Chennai.
The MDMK general secretary had written a letter to Chouhan requesting him to cancel Rajapakse`s visit to lay the foundation stone of the International Buddhist University at Sanchi, as people in Tamil Nadu hold him responsible for the killing of large number of Tamils in the island nation.
However, Chouhan wrote to Vaiko requesting to give up the protest claiming that the programme at Sanchi is totally apolitical in nature, as it was aimed at bringing together civilisations of several Asian countries.
Chouhan also said that his government has extended invitation to the heads of nearly 15 Asian countries including the prime minister of Bhutan, who will be at Sanchi to take part in the programme.