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Monday November 26, 2012

Rajapaksa not coming for World Islamic Economic talks

PETALING JAYA: Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa, whose invitation to attend an international forum in Johor Baru has kicked up a storm here over his alleged war crimes, is giving the event a miss.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman confirmed that the president would not be attending the forum.

A Sri Lankan High Commission official said this was due to “unavoidable circumstances” but added that the decision was not connected to protests by the MIC and various groups here.

Rajapaksa was invited to attend the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) from Dec 4 to 6. The event is scheduled to be opened by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

On Friday, MIC Youth sent a protest memorandum to Wisma Putra while the Sri Lanka War Victim Concerned Team (Api) protested in front of the High Commission on Saturday.

Indians in Malaysia, largely made up of ethnic Tamils, have been against Rajapaksa whom they blame for the deaths of some 100,000 civilians, including 40,000 Tamils, when he crushed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in 2009 after a 26-year civil war.

Some 1,500 delegates and 70 speakers from 50 countries are expected to attend the forum.

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