“Taking serious note of the harassment caused to Sri Lankans by Indian extremists continuously, it is time that a decision is taken to ban travel between Colombo and Chennai at least for one year”, Ven. Omalpe Sobhitha Thera said.
The Ven. Thera said in the recent past, Christian pilgrim groups, Sportsmen, Sri Lankan High Commission office had been at the receiving end of brutal attacks in South India. There were protest rallies when President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited India. Buddhist pilgrims were attacked; Buddhist monks were assaulted and disrobed, and other low grade activities committed.
He said it appears that the perpetrators of these inhuman acts expect a reprisal by the majority Sri Lankan Buddhists. They expect that there would be mob attacks on Indian nationals and Indian Institutions in Sri Lanka.
The Buddhist though they condone the dastardly acts of the Indian extremists, would as Buddhists, with much compassion never ever resort to retaliation.
The patience of the Sri Lankan nation is remarkable. He suggests that the best course of action at this grave moment is not to stage protest marches or criticise the Indian government. It is more preferable for the External Affairs Ministry and other officials who hold diplomatic positions to enter into a dialogue with the parties concerned, and intervene in averting any kind of ill treatment to Sri Lankans visiting India. During these suggested deliberations the government should resort to banning Sri Lankans from touring India.
Further, Ven Sobhitha Thera also declared that on the average a Sri Lankan visiting India spends about Sri Lanka Rs 50,000 which amount accrues to the Indian government as tourist income. (Chaturanga Pradeep)