Sri Lanka says no decision on Tamil Nadu travel advice

Sri Lanka has still not taken a decision to lift the travel advice on the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, the External Affairs Ministry said Wednesday.

Ministry Secretary Karunatillake Amunugama told Xinhua that Sri Lanka is still monitoring the situation in Tamil Nadu over three weeks after the travel advice was first issued. “We are watching and monitoring the situation. There is no decision on lifting the travel advice as yet,” the External Affairs Ministry Secretary said.

The travel advice was issued earlier this month after a group of Sri Lankan pilgrims were mobbed and attacked in Tamil Nadu.

In its travel advice, the Sri Lankan External Affairs Ministry had requested Sri Lankan nationals in the interest of their security to desist from undertaking visits to Tamil Nadu until further notice.

The statement said that in the event there is a compelling reason to visit Tamil Nadu, such a visit should take place following prior timely intimation to the Sri Lanka Deputy High Commission in Chennai.

Anti-Sri Lankan sentiments had grown in Tamil Nadu following the end of the war between the Sri Lankan military and the Tamil Tiger rebels, amidst allegations that Tamils in the island were being mistreated.

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited India last week and had talks with Indian leaders despite protests staged in India against his visit.

Amunugama, however, did not say if there would be any discussions soon to review the travel advice on Tamil Nadu following the president’s India visit.

The travel advice has seen a drop in the number of Sri Lankans visiting Tamil Nadu, especially for business purposes. (Xinhua)