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* Protests in Chennai against India participating in Sri Lanka's defense conference
Sun, Aug 17, 2014, 09:15 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Aug 17, Chennai: Members of a pro-Eelam Tamil nationalist party in Tamil Nadu state of India today staged a protest demanding the Indian government not to participate in Sri Lanka's Defense Seminar 2014.

Chennai's Naam Tamilar Katchi (NTK) party activists demanded that India should boycott the conference that will be held in Colombo from August 18-20.

The protesters expressed their opposition to India's participation in a meeting organized by the Defense Ministry of Sri Lanka which had published a derogatory article against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.

The article titled "How meaningful are Jayalalitha's love letters to Narendra Modi?" was published with a cartoon of the Chief Minister thinking about the Prime Minister Modi in the Defense Ministry website last month.

The op-ed piece has triggered a furor in India within hours after its publication and Tamil political parties in India have even urged the Indian government to severe diplomatic relations with Sri Lanka.

The Sri Lankan government immediately withdrew the article and offered an "unqualified apology" to the Chief Minister and the PM Modi.

However, Tamil political parties in Tamil Nadu continued the uproar against the article and MPs of Jayalalithaa's party, AIADMK, even protested in the Rajya Sabha of Indian parliament.

Sri Lanka's fourth annual Defense Seminar 2014 will be attended by 197 foreign participants, 35 Defence Attachés and more than 40 diplomats representing 66 countries.

A total of 20 guest speakers, including 10 foreign scholars are scheduled to share their views on the topic 'Sri Lanka: Challenges to a Rising Nation' this year.

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