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Sunday, 31 March 2013

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Protests in Tamil Nadu ease

The protests in Tamil Nadu over Sri Lanka has seen a lull lately, but the Deputy High Commissioner in Chennai is yet to encourage visitors from Sri Lanka to South India.The Acting Chief of Mission in Chennai Ameer Ajwad said the protests by college students were still on, but not as intense as what was witnessed during the past weeks.

"Their focus is now on the Central Government and not directly towards Sri Lanka or Sri Lankans," he said adding that the mission is closely monitoring the situation."The tensions still prevail, therefore I would not encourage visitors from Sri Lanka. It is better to postpone any scheduled visit to Tamil Nadu until the tensions die down." The Deputy HC said he hoped the situation will return to normal soon, but expressed concern that with another token protest by film actors, Rajinikanth and Kamal Hassan scheduled for tomorrow, tensions could well be whipped up once again.

In the light of these negative developments, there has been a significant drop in Lankan visitors to Chennai and Tamil Nadu, mostly Buddhist, Catholic and Hindu pilgrims, during the past couple of weeks. SriLankan Airlines reacted by reducing its daily flights to Chennai from four to two.

The Acting HC said there were less than 100 Lankan students, both Sinhalese and Tamils, in Chennai universities and colleges and there had not been any reports of harassment on students. "Some students have gone back to Sri Lanka since the colleges still remain closed, but some are staying back with their foster families."

The mission has not received any complaints of security concerns from students so far. However, he said any student who feels threatened can contact his office via TP.04428252612 or [email protected]

 

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