Travel advice on Tamil Nadu

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The External Affairs Ministry has issued a travel advice for Sri Lankans travelling to Tamil Nadu as a result of the recent incidents targeting Sri Lankans in the area.

In a statement issued this evening the External Affairs Ministry said that it is constrained to request Sri Lankan nationals to exercise caution when undertaking visits to the State of Tamil Nadu in India.

“In the event such visits were to take place to Tamil Nadu due to compelling reasons, Sri Lankan nationals are requested to keep the Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission in Chennai informed well in advance,” the travel advice said.

The statement said that the Government of Sri Lanka regrets the recent incidents of intimidation of Sri Lankan nationals particularly instances of violent assaults against Buddhist Monks in Thanjavur and at the Central Chennai Railway Station, India.

The Ministry of External Affairs has lodged strong protests with the Indian Government through its High Commission in New Delhi and the Deputy High Commission in Chennai over the incidents of assaults on Sri Lankan Buddhist monks in the State of Tamil Nadu.

The Government said it condemns such assaults carried out by extreme elements with vested interests in attempting to tarnish our friendly relations with India.

Meanwhile the Indian High Commission in Colombo had said today that India has noted with concern the recent incidents involving Sri Lankan citizens in Tamil Nadu.

It said that the Government of India, in consultation with the concerned state governments, has taken and will continue to take all measures to ensure the safety, security and well-being of Sri Lankan visitors to India, including to Tamil Nadu. The state government of Tamil Nadu has taken immediate action to identify and prosecute the miscreants, in respect of the recent incidents.

“These isolated incidents do not reflect the strong people-to-people bonds that have been an integral part of the close historical, cultural and civilisational ties between India and Sri Lanka. Both countries consider these age-old bonds and affinities as strengths in our relations. India has been the leading source of tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka. Similarly, over 250,000 Sri Lankans visited India last year. It is this perspective that guides all our actions on such matters,” the High Commission said. (Colombo Gazette)