CHENNAI, India (AP) — Hundreds of Indian Tamils are protesting Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s visit to Buddhist and Hindu shrines.
On Friday, Rajapaksa visited the eastern Indian town of Bodh Gaya, where the Buddha gained enlightenment. Rajapaksa is to visit the Hindu temple town of Tirupati in southern Andhra Pradesh state on Saturday.
The visit is personal and he is not expected to meet with any Indian government officials.
Local news reports said dozens of protesters were arrested in the southern city of Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu state.
Rajapaksa’s government defeated the Tamil Tiger rebels in 2009, ending their quarter-century bid to create an independent state for the country’s ethnic minority Tamils. Tens of thousands of civilians were estimated to have died in the final five months of the civil war.