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* Sri Lanka lifts travel advisory to Tamil Nadu
Tue, Oct 9, 2012, 07:08 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Oct 09, Colombo: Sri Lanka today lifted the travel advisory it imposed early last month for Sri Lankan nationals visiting the Tamil Nadu state of India.

Sri Lankan government issued the travel advisory warning its nationals not to travel to Tamil Nadu following the mob attack by the pro-LTTE demonstrators on 184 Sri Lankan pilgrims to a revered church in the state on September 03.

Lifting the travel advisory, Sri Lanka's External Affairs Ministry in a statement said the "Government of Sri Lanka is pleased that the Government of India, in close consultation with the concerned state governments, has taken and will continue to take all measures to ensure the safety, security and wellbeing of Sri Lankan dignitaries and visitors to all parts of India including Tamil Nadu."

The Sri Lankan government said it was compelled to issue the warning following a "series of unfortunate incidents" faced by Sri Lankans visiting Tamil Nadu.

Just a day before the mob attack on the pilgrims, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu J. Jayalalithaa ordered the state officials to send back two Sri Lankan school soccer teams which were in Chennai to play friendly matches with two schools in the state.

"The Government of Sri Lanka views these incidents as an aberration, and acknowledges that Sri Lanka nationals numbering approximately 200,000 who visit India every year are received warmly in India, including in Tamil Nadu," the Ministry said.

The statement noted that people-to-people contact plays an important role in the multifaceted India-Sri Lanka relationship, especially in further promoting historical, cultural and political ties as well as economic and business relations.

"The Government of Sri Lanka is of the view that this age-old natural process of interaction between our two peoples must flourish, unhindered," the External Affairs Ministry said.

The Ministry expressed appreciation to the assurance given by the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu that the state government of Tamil Nadu is determined to ensure that Sri Lankan visitors to Tamil Nadu are not harmed in any way.

The Ministry said the government had received a large number of requests to lift the travel advisory and believes that the travel advisory is no longer required.

** Related Story :: Sri Lanka warns its nationals visiting Tamil Nadu after Catholic pilgrims mobbed in the state

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