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Sri Lanka group threatens attacks on Indians

Posted on Mar 21, 05:45PM | IANS

New Delhi, March 21 : A Sri Lankan group has threatened tit-for-tat attacks on Indians from Tamil Nadu after two Buddhist monks were targeted in the Indian state.

Group leader Iththekande Saddhatissa Thera sounded the warning, saying the Tamil Nadu and the central Indian governments had failed to protect the Sri Lankan monks in the southern state.

Unless the Indian High Commission in Colombo ensured the safety of Sri Lankans visiting Tamil Nadu, it will "have to think of a system to protect people who visit Sri Lanka from Tamil Nadu", it said.

The threat, reported by Ceylon News, comes in the wake of attacks on visiting Sri Lankans in Tamil Nadu by Tamil activists angry over the death of many Tamil civilians in the war against the Tamil Tigers.

Saddhatissa Thera, who heads a group called Ravana Balaya, accused the Congress-led Indian government of being scared of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa and DMK president M. Karunanidhi.

Both Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi, although bitter political rivals, want India to take a tough stand vis-a-vis Sri Lanka at the UNHRC session in Geneva.

"It's enough that we have waited like cowards," Saddhatissa Thera was quoted as saying. "If we don't get any relief, we will be forced to harass businessmen who come to Sri Lanka from Tamil Nadu.

"We will have to suspend films imported from Tamil Nadu. We will definitely implement our programmes he warned... Don't make us angry."

He accused the Tamil Nadu government of not acting against "hooligans" who attacked Sri Lankan monks.

"Keep this in mind. If you assault our Sri Lankans who visit India, the day is not long that (Tamil Nadu people in Sri Lanka) will be assaulted."

He also hit out at his own government.

"When there was a war in our country, foreigners were warned not to visit Sri Lanka. Likewise our government should ban our people going to Tamil Nadu," he said.