Srilankan cuts flights to Tamil Nadu by half

Sri Lanka’s national airline has announced that it was halving the number of flights to south India following a number of incidents in that part of the country.

SriLankan Airlines said it has observed a drop in traffic between Chennai and Colombo due to recent developments in Tamil Nadu, hence it was decided to reduce its frequency of flights to Chennai from 28 to 14 per week from Thursday.

“Revised schedule involves two daily flights, departing Colombo in the morning and evening, to facilitate the passengers who board their flights to Middle East and far eastern destinations from Chennai.  Flights to other Indian destinations will be operated uninterrupted. SriLankan Airlines is closely observing the situation and will take further action if necessary,” the airline said.

The announcement came after the External Affairs Ministry urged Sri Lankans travelling to Tamil Nadu to be cautious as a result of the recent incidents targeting Sri Lankans in the area.

“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 Sri Lankan External Affairs Ministry 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.  (Colombo Gazette)