Monks protest against attacks in India

A group of monks staged a protest outside the Indian High Commission in Colombo today against the attack on Sri Lankan monks in India.

The monks demanded that the Indian government provide protection for Sri Lankan monks in southern India.

Meanwhile addressing a press conference this morning, the National Sangha Council (Jathika Sangha Sammelanaya) called for a ban on Sri Lankans travelling to Tamil Nadu.

The Venerable Dombagoda Sarananda thero said that the Sangha Council vehemently condemns the attack on two Sri Lankan monks in Tamil Nadu.

The Sangha Council noted that the attack on the two monks was not the first time that Sri Lankans were being attacked in India.

The monks recalled that on earlier occasions politicians and sportsmen also came under attack or were abused in India.

The Sangha Council also called for a ban on imports from Tamil Nadu as a mark of protest over the recent incidents.

Days after a Sri Lankan priest was attacked at Tanjavur, suspected pro-Tamil men on Monday assaulted another priest at the Central railway station.

Police identified the victim as Bandara (33) and said he was part of a group of Sri Lankan pilgrims, who arrived here enroute to Colombo after visiting various holy sites including Gaya.

The Buddhist priest in saffron robe was repeatedly assaulted by unknown persons, police said, adding, cases had been filed under different sections of IPC including ‘voluntarily causing hurt.’

The assailants had fled the spot and a hunt had been launched to nab them. The police in Chennai have begun gathering information on Sri Lankan tourists arriving in the area following the attacks.

The incident comes in the backdrop of surging emotions in Tamil Nadu over the Sri Lankan Tamils issue following pictures showing slain LTTE chief V. Prabakaran’s 12-year-old son allegedly being killed in cold blood.

Meanwhile the Indian High Commission in Colombo said 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)

Report by Indika Sri Aravinda