Lankan Prez offers worship at Lord Venkateswara temple
Tirupati: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Wednesday offered worship at the famous hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara in the wee hours near here.
Rajapaksa was in the temple for about an hour, participating in the ?Suprabhatam’ stanza recitation ritual conducted by a group of priests inside the ancient temple, temple sources said.
Police had made tight security arrangements for the visit.
A day after filing his nomination papers seeking third term for the presidential elections in Sri Lanka next month, Rajapaksa arrived here last evening to offer worship to Lord Venkateswara.
Before leaving the temple, priests blessed him while the shrine’s management presented him with a sacred silk cloth, ‘prasadam’ and holy water.
Andhra Pradesh Police yesterday took into preventive custody as many as 130 persons from Tamil Nadu who tried to hold protests against Rajapaksa’s visit to the temple town.
Major political parties in Tamil Nadu including the DMK, NDA ally PMK and MDMK, which walked out of the alliance recently, have been critical of the Lankan Government on the Tamils issue besides the fishermen problem.
MDMK chief Vaiko had quit the combine on Monday alleging that Narendra Modi government at the Centre has been acting against the interest of Tamils and condemned Rajapaksa’s visit.