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Chauhan calls for maintenance of peace during Lankan President’s visit

Bhopal, Sep 17 (ANI): Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan on Monday urged the people to maintain calm and refrain from organising any protest rallies ahead of the visit of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Chauhan defended Rajapaksa’s visit and said that several other countries would also be visiting the state with a goodwill mission.

“This conference is an epitome of peace, cooperation which is an intrinsic part of the Buddhist religion. A lot of religious leaders and intellectuals will be attending the conference. It is also an effort to promote a sense of brotherhood and friendly relations with other nations. There is no other motive other than this,” said Chauhan.

“I urge everyone not to disrupt the meet, as it does not require any opposition. I also urge the people to ensure that this event is conducted smoothly,” he added.

Chauhan maintained there would be no city or state shutdown ahead of the religious conference.

“A shutdown or any sort of protest will not look appropriate when such revered leaders from other countries visit here. We have also decided that there will be no shutdown in Bhopal on September 20. The National Democratic Alliance has also postponed its protest date to September 24 and on September 20, no shutdown or rally would be organised,” he added.

Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) leader Vaiko has decided to go ahead with his planned black flag demonstration against Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa during his proposed visit to Sanchi in Madhya Pradesh. Rajapaksa is coming to Madhya Pradesh for the inauguration of a Buddhist institution.

The Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister had earlier written to Vaiko, and asked him to drop the protest move. Chauhan had in his letter insisted that Rajapaksa’s visit was apolitical and that it should be seen as an endeavor to promote peace and harmony among the Asian nations.

The MDMK leader, who is a strong critic of Rajapaksa, holds him responsible for the killing of civilian Tamils in the war against LTTE in 2009. (ANI)