Drop in Lankans visiting TN

The Indian media today reported that the number of Sri Lankan visitors to many parts of the Tamil Nadu, mainly in Chennai have considerably reduced following a Sri Lankan Government travel advisory against visiting Tamil Nadu.

“The usually bustling Kenneth Lane in Egmore and the Thana Street in Purasawalkam were less crowded on Tuesday, thanks to the absence of Sri Lankan tourists, following a travel advisory…”, the iBN live reported.

 A large number of visitors from Lanka preferred to confine themselves to their accommodations, instead of stepping out for shopping.
 With Chennai being a major transit point for most Lankans visiting the Buddhist pilgrimage circuit in India, they are accommodated in lodges and hotels across Egmore and Purasawalkam.

 “The late night advisory appears to have an impact among the Lankans, as I have seen very few Lankans venturing out for shopping since Tuesday morning,” a trader on the Kenneth Lane claimed.

 “We had good business for the last 10 days, but hardly a handful number of them (Sri Lankans) visited my shop today,” the trader added.

 Lankan tourists go on a shopping spree in Chennai, visiting places like Egmore, Thyagaraya Nagar and Purasawalkam, before flying out for Colombo.
According to Ven. KalawaneMahanamaThero, Monk in-charge of Chennai Mahabodhi Centre, about 500 Lankan pilgrims are presently in Chennai.

 Admitting that the inbound tourists did not turn up on the streets following the advisory, he said, “They cannot return to Lanka even if they wish to do so, as the pilgrims have to travel only according to their programme.

 Moreover, all the flights for the island nation are packed to full capacity.

” Several groups of Lankan pilgrims, were contemplating to put off their travel plans, he said.

 “I have received at least 50 calls from both tour organisers and businessmen from Lanka, enquiring about the situation in Chennai.

 They had scheduled to visit India this month,” he concluded.

 On an average, three lakh Lankan pilgrims visit Chennai to proceed to Bodhgaya, Delhi and Varanasi by buses and trains, every year.

 Of the 14 lodges present at Purasawalkam, Lankan pilgrims are accommodated in 10 lodges during their whistle- stop tour to the city.

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