Assault of SL pilgrims in Chennai:
govt. to raise it with New Delhi

* We do not deal with State administrations - Keheliya


by Zacki Jabbar

The government said yesterday that it would take up the issue of some Sri Lankan pilgrims being assaulted by a group of persons in Dambadiva, with the Indian central government and not with Tamil Nadu, because it does not deal with State administrations.

"We are pursuing the matter through diplomatic channels to ensure that there would not be a repetition of Wednesday’s incident," Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told the weekly Cabinet press briefing in Colombo, while admitting that Sri Lankans visiting the South Indian State were increasingly being targeted.

He said that the unfortunate situation had arisen because personalites such as Vaiko were arousing the people in Tamil Nadu by spreading false propaganda against the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime.

According to reports, some in the group of 85 pilgrims, hailing from Elpitiya and Galle, had been set upon, while they were at a rest house in Chennai.

Following the incident they had been moved to the Maha Bodhi Society in Chennai and were expected to return to Colombo last evening.

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