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Taken all steps to ensure safety of Sri Lankans: Govt

September 04, 2012 17:06 IST
India on Tuesday assured that it will take all measures to ensure safety and security of Sri Lankans in the country, saying the Centre was in "close consultation" with the concerned state governments regarding this.

The assurance came in the wake of the travel advisory issued by Sri Lanka asking its citizen not to visit Tamil Nadu until further notice in the wake of "increasing number of instances of intimidation" of Sri Lankans there.

"I wish to convey 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 well-being of Sri Lankan dignitaries and visitors to India, including to Tamil Nadu," an official spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs said. He was responding to a query about the advisory by Sri Lanka.

The spokesperson also said, "In certain instances, it has been noticed that important visits have taken place without prior intimation to the concerned authorities."

Emphasising that people-to-people contacts are an integral part of the close historical, cultural, ethnic and civilisational ties between India and Sri Lanka, he said, "Our high commission in Colombo issued visas to nearly 200,000 Sri Lankan nationals to visit India last year, while approximately 1.75,000 Indian tourists visited Sri Lanka in 2011. It is this perspective that guides all our actions on such matters."

The Lankan travel advisory said, "The government of Sri Lanka regrets the increasing number of instances of intimidation of its nationals visiting Tamil Nadu for the purposes of tourism, religious pilgrimages, sporting and cultural activities and professional training."

The government is constrained to request Sri Lanka  nationals in the interest of their security to desist from undertaking visits to Tamil Nadu until further notice, it said.


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