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Wednesday, September 05, 2012 - 4.15 GMT
India assures safety of Sri Lankan tourists


The group of Sri Lankan pilgrims harassed by the pro-LTTE activists in Tamil Nadu and sought refuge in a church has come under attack again as they have been taken to Tiruchy by the Indian authorities today.

The Deputy High Commission of Sri Lanka in Chennai reported last afternoon that the group of 184 Sri Lankan pilgrims who had taken refuge at the Poondi Madha Basilica in Thanjavur has been taken in buses for their return to Colombo by the Indian authorities and assisted by the staff of the Sri Lankan Mission.

It was also reported that the buses had come under attack en route to the airport by a group of protesters.
The pro-LTTE mob have pelted stones and smashed the windows of the buses as a convoy of five buses took the Sri Lankan pilgrims to the Trichy airport.

However, the Indian authorities have provided the pilgrims security and safe passage, and taken them to a tourist lodge, near the airport until their departure, the Ministry of External Affairs said.

The group comprising both Sinhalese and Tamils from Chilaw had arrived Sunday at the Poondi Madha Basilica in Thanjavur to participate in the two-day annual festival.

Activists of pro-LTTE Tamil parties in Tamil Nadu had staged a demonstration Monday against the Sri Lankans' presence and forced them to seek refuge in the church.

The incident, which comes in the wake of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa's order to send back two Sri Lankan school soccer teams.

The Sri Lankan government issued a travel warning against visiting Tamil Nadu and to request the public not to visit Tamil Nadu until further notice.





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Last modified: September 05, 2012.

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