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TN: Over 150 Lankan pilgrims face fresh protests

Sep 04, 2012 03:38 PM IST India India

Chennai: A batch of 178 Sri Lankan tourists faced fresh protests in Tamil Nadu with a pro-LTTE group trying to block seven buses carrying them. The police have arrested nine people of the group.

The Lankan tourists were returning to Nagapattinam after offering prayers at Velankanni. The pilgrims are expected to head out to Sri Lanka on Tuesday.

In a separate incident, black flags were also shown to the tourists on way to the Trichy Airport. This comes a day after the government of Sri Lanka issued an advisory for its citizens asking them to refrain from undertaking any visit to Tamil Nadu until further notice in the interest of their safety.

The advisory issued by the Sri Lankan government said, "The Government of Sri Lanka is constrained to request Sri Lankan nationals in the interest of their security to desist from undertaking visits to Tamil Nadu until further notice."

Sri Lanka also expressed regrets over the "increasing number of instances of intimidation of Sri Lankan national visiting Tamil Nadu".

The advisory further pointed, "Most recently today, 184 pilgrims visiting the Poornimatha Church in Thanjavur have been mobbed and become refuge in the church."

The government of Sri Lanka further assured its citizens that all steps had been taken through the government of Indian to seek the safety of the pilgrims.

According to the advisory, if a Sri Lankan citizen has a compelling reason to visit Tamil Nadu, the Deputy High Commission of the country in Chennai must be informed about it in advance.

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