Sept 05, Colombo: The friendly relationship between India and Sri Lanka is not affected by the actions of state governments or the incidents taken place in the Tamil Nadu state, the Sri Lankan government affirmed today.
Speaking to the state-run radio government spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said the friendship between Sri Lanka and India will not be affected as a result of the activities of state governments and India has already taken measures to safeguard the cordial relations.
Sri Lankan High Commissioner in New Delhi Prasad Kariyawasam has also assured that the incidents that have taken place recently in Tamil Nadu do not hinder the friendship and diplomatic relations between the two countries.
A group of 184 Sri Lankan pilgrims who were visiting a Christian shrine in Thanjavur came under attack by the pro-LTTE Tamil party activists in Tamil Nadu forcing the pilgrims to return after taking refuge in the church.
The buses taking the traumatized Sri Lankan pilgrims to the airport with police escort were attacked again despite the presence of Tamil Nadu police.
The High Commissioner while noting that the central government of India has always instructed the Tamil Nadu police to provide the necessary protection to the Sri Lankans vising the state, asked the Sri Lankans not to visit Tamil Nadu unless it is essential and in that event to inform the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commissioner's office in Chennai beforehand.
The Deputy External Affairs Minister Neomal Perera clarified that there is no travel ban on Tamil Nadu but the government has warned the visitors to the state due to the recent incidents.
He accused the pro-LTTE Tamil diaspora of instigating the incidents trying to recreate a crisis and disrupt the peace, reconciliation and unity within the country. He asked the general public not to fall prey for their motives.
The Sri Lankan government meanwhile has asked the Indian government to provide enhanced security to the several Sri Lankan buildings in Tamil Nadu which include a bank, a Buddhist Temple and the national carrier Sri Lankan Airlines.
The attack on pilgrims, which comes in the wake of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa's order to send back two Sri Lankan school soccer teams, prompted the Sri Lankan government to issue a travel warning against visiting Tamil Nadu and to urge the public not to visit Tamil Nadu until further notice.