Sri Lankan Buddhist Centre in Chennai (stupa in background).
When I travelled in India I always used my Sri Lankan passport. People were nice and quick to mention two famous Sri Lankans: Ravana and Sanath Jayasuriya. The only place I felt unwelcome as a Sri Lankan was in Rameshwaran, the point nearest to SL, which was strange. I’ve since been to Chennai and Pondi in Tamil Nadu without problems. Hence it’s troubling that Sri Lankans in TN and now being attacked and harassed, by mobs and politicians alike.
Buses in Tamil Nadu were attacked this afternoon because they had on board pilgrims from Sri Lanka. The convoy of five buses was headed to the Trichy airport to board a special flight home
Earlier today, the group of nearly 180 Sri Lankans were stopped by protesters after they left the famous Velankanni Christian shrine, 20 kilometres from Trichy.
The Sri Lankans also faced protests yesterday during their visit to another shrine near Thanjavur.
Over the weekend, in a much-criticised move, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa ordered that a football team that was visiting the state in a friendly match should be sent back to Sri Lanka immediately. (Daily Mirror)
And less recently, Karunanidhi and Jayalithaa protested over Sri Lankan military being trained in India. It’s like they still want a war here, it’s kinda sick. Tamil Nadu politicians demagogue around Sri Lankan issues like Arab leaders around Palestine. Neither really does much to help.
Now Sri Lanka’s issued a travel warning against visiting Tamil Nadu. This is a shame, but when TN leaders are doing such inhospitable things as sending football teams away, what can we do. Hospitality is still, I think, an honor and a duty in this part of the world. It’s a shame that a few people in Tamil Nadu are being so inhospitable to their neighbors.