Indians who arrive in the country on tourist visas are known to be engaged in peddling textiles in the Jaffna district and thus impacting adversely on the business of local traders, Jaffna Mayor Yoheswari Patkunarajah said.
The Jaffna Chamber of Commerce had brought this matter to the notice of the mayor. She said these Indian nationals had been carrying out their illegal trading activities in the area for at least six months.
“These Indians are peddling textile items and fancy goods. They visit households in Jaffna and sell at relatively low prices such items as salwar kameez and sarees which
they bring down from India. I have complained to the Indian Consulate General in Jaffna about this matter,” Ms. Yoheswari said. A Jaffna Chamber of Commerce official said these Indian nationals had brought these apparels in their personal luggage.
“These Indians approach office workers in Jaffna targeting their pay days. It is a serious problem to the war-affected Jaffna traders. The hordes of Indian fishermen who continue to fish in Sri Lankan waters have made matters even worse,” he said.
When asked for a comment Indian Consulate General V. Mahalingam said such cases have been reported and that his office would not encourage such trade at all. Responding to a query whether such traders would be repatriated, he said, “We do not
have access to them. If they are apprehended, we can ask them to leave.” (Kelum Bandara)