President Rajapaksa visits Bodh Gaya, India amid protests
Posted on February 8th, 2013

By Janaka Alahapperuma

President Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived at the Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya, India this afternoon on Friday 08 February on a two day private visit for pilgrimage. The President was warmly received at the Gaya International Airport by Chief Minister of Bihar Province, Nitish Kumar and senior state government and police officials. He was accorded a guard of honour by the state police.

From the airport, the convoy of the Sri Lankan delegation was driven straight to the Mahabodhi temple which hosts a 1500 year old temple, the most sacred to Buddhists worldwide, where they performed religious rituals.  President Rajapaksa meditated before the holy Sri Maha Bodhi Tree where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment 2600 years ago. The President visited the Sri Lankan Buddhist Viharaya in the temple town near Bodh Gaya. He would participate in the inauguration ceremony of the new cultural centre in Bodh Gaya.

presidentimindia1Pix by: Sudath Silva

The Chief Minister will host a banquet for the Sri Lankan President and his delegation, the Indian officials said. Later he will visit Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh before returning to Sri Lanka on Sunday. However Sri Lankan President will not visit New Delhi to meet the Indian leaders. The President accompanied by First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa,  Monitoring MP Sajin Vass Gunawardena, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga and a 70-member delegation.

Meanwhile the DMK, MDMK, pro LTTE political parties and their supporters held state-wide protests in the national capital and in Tamil Nadu today protesting the visit of Sri Lankan President. DMK Chief M. Karunanidhi who is an ardent supporter of Tamil Tigers, leading a protest held by Tamil Eelam Supporters Organisation (TESO) accused President Rajapaksa for eradicating Tamil Tiger terrorism, ending 30 years of brutal war in Sri Lanka. Karunanidhi said Rajapaksa is not willing to give autonomy for Sri Lankan Tamils and trying to annihilate not only the Tamils but also their culture, tradition and Tamil language in Sri Lanka. He further added that the protests were being held to teach Rajapaksa a “lesson”.

Hundreds of cadres belonging to DMK, VCK and other Tamil outfits and their leaders participated in those protests wearing black shirts. Around 30 members of VCK party were taken into custody near the Tamil Nadu-Andhra Pradesh border for holding protests. In Hosur in Karnataka, members of various Tamil outfits were taken into custody for protesting on the railway tracks. Lawyers in some districts like Villupuram, Dindugul and Sivaganga in Tamil Nadu boycotted the courts opposing Sri Lankan President’s visit and burnt his effigies.


Members of various Tamil outfits also protested outside the Sri Lankan consulate in Chennai against President Rajapaksa’s visit. Protests were also held in the temple town of Tirupati, where prohibitory orders were imposed, and in the national capital, New Delhi. MDMK chief Vaiko and his supporters were today detained when they tried to march towards the Prime Minister’s residence in protest against the visit of Sri Lankan President to India. He also demanded to close down the Sri Lankan High Commission in the capital New Delhi. The protesters demanded Indian government to vote against Sri Lanka in Geneva. They also demanded that the Commonwealth summit (CHOGM) in November should be taken away from Sri Lanka.


10 Responses to “President Rajapaksa visits Bodh Gaya, India amid protests”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    No disrespect to anyone.

    The above photo looks exactly like the Wailing Wall of Israel.

    Jews make similar gestures though nowhere in their religion they are required to do. It is only a practice.

  2. Nimal Says:

    Mr President with due respect to you sir,for bringing the bloody ethnic war to end,would like to know why you are always wear a south Indian and outdated dress,kissing a wall.Are you using our hard earned tax money for your extravagance?
    I am sure you have better things to do other than going on pilgrimage and kissing rocks.It looks ridiculous.Please stay at home and serve the country as the country need a greater attention from you.If you want to genuinely fight the foreign meddlers and trouble makers,then put the country right.Then this gives no room for outsiders to criticize us or even harm us.People have much grievances in their daily lives but you have not provide any avenue for them to reach you to complain,such as an e mail link that you seriously would randomly read and get some hangers on officials to read.Then only you will read the mood of the country.At present their grievances are hijacked by the opposition to gain political mil age.So stay in the country and solve the problems.Too many to mention and it is getting worse since our so called independence.
    Our thanks to the Prez for doing much for the people who are poor but not enough to the rest of the people.I Was stopped 7 times by the cops last year on one journey to Chi law and my son was also stopped 7 times coming from Anuradhapura to Kandy.How dsoes people go about in their business when the cops stop you for no reason.Then what about the judiciary taking decades to finish a case encouraging the wrong dower.I was nearly killed two years ago by a villain who hit me on the head with blunt object.I happen to walk on the street during the election times,trying to buy my food provisions.I was treated badly by the orderlies or male nurses in ward no 9 at the Kandy hospital.Though I was seriously injured on my head,they never gave me a bed,though there were 4 empty beds in that ward.I had to sit instead on a bench in a mosquito ridden corridor and when I tried to sleep at 1.30AM the horrible orderly came and woke me up saying that the bench is not for sleeping.The doctor there was helpless to help me as these horrible orderlies controlled the ward,where they hardly attended to the patients,but watched TV whole night.On patient had a privately paid nurse,but poor chap was treated horribly by these orderlies,where he was asked to stay away from his patient and was in the corridor whole night.I am a very big tax payer in SL and that’s not the way to treat me or an animal.As I mentioned before,my eldest sister died 4 months ago homeless as the occupant never left that house she build while she worked in Middle East and the courts dragged the case that long.My other sister’s house is occupied by a murderer(multiple murderes of a family)and he is dragging my bed ridden sister through the courts,endlessly and she too is homeless.She is a victim of mad colonial transfer system where teachers and govt. civil servants are transferred left right and centre,making them to rent their homes and live where ever they are.None of you politicians will ever solve these problems for the suffering people.I read that you need a billion more Rs to clear the backlog of cases in courts.This is utter bullshit.Any civil case should end in one sitting.That was so in UK when more than 20 illegal,well organized people occupied our next door.Since reporting the incident to the authorities it took not less than one week to evict that lot.these are civilized countries and the utterly wrong way the countries are governed in the third world,the first world have no respect to us because we don’t respect ourselves and the rights of the people.If we do then my sisters won’t be homeless,I and my son wont be stopped 7 times by cops,people wont be transferred all over the country making their lives a misery.It is rather hypocritical to go to churches and temples when people are grieving with problems that will never be solved by any politician of any party.They are Only jockeying for power to hood wink the people again and again.I commend the brave private sector of our country to be brave these horrible self inflicted obstacles.

  3. Nanda Says:

    Dear non Buddhists,
    What the prsident is doing is not kissing a wall or making a gesture, he is doing “vandana” ( you may call worship even though it is not really that meaning) of the Buddha statue placed on the flower bench inside the recess. What dress can he wear than the ariya shinhala dress ? Nimal may like euro dress. May be simple shrot sleeved shrit and trouses ?

    Sunil Ayya,
    You have been to this place , can you please explain what it is and what he is doing.

  4. Voice123 Says:

    “… would like to know why you are always wear a south Indian and outdated dress”

    – Another imported idea from India when we already have our own costumes! LOL!

  5. Nimal Says:

    There’s no such as national costumes,except worn for some parade or circus.What is worn in NY,Hong kong,Tokyo and lastly Colombo the same and that’s should be the reality.It is absurd to go in a jet and get to one’s home from the airport in a bullock card.wearing that stupid dress makes people look a clown.If we are to be accepted by the all important nations(to us) must have the image right with the times.I remember the occasion Mr Weerawansa visited China to meet some leaders where he wore and ancient Chinese dress while the Chinese leaders themselves wore ties and coats,while our politician look a real stupid clown.We have to get out of the frog in the well mentality and join the mainstream of the world.when we marginalize our self the predators take advantage.
    Average person in SL is in tune with the world but it’s the ruling elite of which ever persuasion that use the religious and cultural reasons to hold back development in the country.This mind set lead the country to corruption and suppression of innocent people.There is a one time Helaya who went to Italy worked night and day,saved a lot of money to buy a big very expensive house in Kandy.He wanted to have a gust house and something else there.While he was breaking down the interior to rebuild that very old house,offices of the municipality raided him and took his tools away.They say he hasn’t got the heritage people’s permission etc.This heritage is a lot of rubbish as with the right connections they allowed a scoundrel to put a massive building only 100 yards away,breaking all the rules.So they use religion.culture to suppress people’s right to make a honest living.That law is not fairly implemented in our country where absurd regulations are imposed by local Hitlers.Thisonetime hela patriot is regretiing ever setting foot in the country of his birth.I think he had spent close to a billion rupees.What a shame?

  6. Christie Says:

    Trosers and Shirts are of Chinese origin, not European.

    Waht our politicians wear now is the Vetti from South India. It is India who dressed up SWRD with this Vetti, then gave him the money and told of the policies to win the election in 1956. That was the end of Sinhalaya.

  7. Nimal Says:

    Where ever it is made(trousers)it is the accepted attire of the world.Nobody told our humble shoe maker,barber,even street cleaner to wear trousers but they do so on their own accord, as it is worn all over the world and it is practical.People of known civilized nations never talk about their ancient past,I didn’t hear from any person in my own country,though I visit so often.They are only worried about making a day at a time.All histories of all nations are stained in blood,spilt by the tyrants that ruled the world.Take Taj Mahal,supposed to be a symbol of love: really? It is the symbol of a tyranny of a ruler over his innocent people.Thank heavens the Western countries found a term political correctness because no such Taj Mahal will ever be allowed this day and age.This tyrant built this for his wife but 42,000innocent people were staved to death in building this structure.Where the craftsman’s eyes were gouged out and their hands were cut so that they would never build another structure.Most of them committed suicide with no ability to make a living. same goes for Inca structures in South America,Pyramids in Egypt,many more structures in the Greek and Roman Empires,not forgetting the colonial cruel slave work gangs in Americas.So looking back is futile and look forward and follow the winners,like the so called ‘Colombians In SL is a start.Today RT was saying that temples and churches in Thailand is empty,in some temples have no priests or clergy and that is a positive sign of a country emerging as modern economy.This phenomenon had already happened in the West and only the freaks and lonely patronize the house of worship,except the mosque which will get some attention of authorities,as they may undermine our well being in the future.

  8. Voice123 Says:

    “Waht our politicians wear now is the Vetti from South India. It is India who dressed up SWRD with this Vetti, then gave him the money and told of the policies to win the election in 1956. That was the end of Sinhalaya.”

    – Well said Christie. Its good to know that Im not the only one who realises the true (pro-Indian) agenda of SWRD.

  9. Senevirath Says:

    First Buddham saranam Then sai. Kararagama . Vishnu, gal palliya kudagama etc

    Almost all these politittions Went to sai. But in sri lanka They pretended that they were very good buddhists

    Visitin and respecting Other places are o.K as a politition.but not worshiping

  10. anujohn Says:

    Launching protests is not the wisest thing to do.Instead, Tamil Leaders should sit with Rajapaksa and discuss the issues and solutions. Why havent the Tamil leaders done this so far? Whenever any Srilankan’s visit India Tamil Leader protests and making show off. Did it do anything good for Tamils in SriLanka?

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