Deputy High Commission in Chennai is contacting police after attack on Bank of Ceylon

Sri Lanka has reacted sharply to the Thursday attack on the Bank of Ceylon in Chennai and sought the Union government’s help to ensure security for its establishments in Tamil Nadu.

“The Ministry of External Affairs has requested the Sri Lanka High Commission in New Delhi to seek the assistance of the Government of India in providing security to other Sri Lankan establishments such as Maha Bodhi Society and SriLankan Airlines and … Sri Lankans living in India in the wake of the… incident,” Sri Lanka’s Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement on Friday.

The Sri Lankan Deputy High Commission in Chennai had taken steps to contact the police, and security was maintained on the Bank of Ceylon premises, the release said.

Sri Lanka had taken up the issue with India on Thursday itself, ahead of President Mahinda Rajapaksa began his pilgrimage tour of India.

Immediately, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs contacted Tamil Nadu through appropriate channels and enhanced security for Sri Lankan establishments in the State.

Tamil Nadu clearance

On an earlier occasion, after its tourists were targeted in Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka issued an advisory against travel to the State. Since then, as sought by the Tamil Nadu government, the Centre has been sharing details of VIP visits from Sri Lanka.

VIPs’ visit

Since law and order is a State subject, it is only with the Tamil Nadu government’s concurrence can Sri Lankan VIPs travel to or transit Chennai and Tamil Nadu.

Of late, Sri Lankan VIPs have complained that their visits through Tamil Nadu are not being approved quickly enough.

There have at least been two recent instances of Sri Lankan politicians having been forced to reconsider their trip and route after permission was not quick enough.

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