Sri Lanka clears wasp nests ahead of Modi’s visit

PM to address a public meeting in Central Province’s estates

Published - May 09, 2017 10:30 pm IST - Colombo

The police in Hatton have roped in a private firm to help with the exercise

The police in Hatton have roped in a private firm to help with the exercise

Sri Lankan police are clearing nests of hornets and wasps in tea estates in the island’s Central Province ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the area on Friday.

Police in Hatton, near the popular hill station Nuwara Eliya, has roped in a private company to help evict thousands of wasps to prevent a possible attack on the visiting leader.

UN celebrations

Mr. Modi arrives in Sri Lanka on Thursday evening, and will inaugurate the UN Vesak Day celebrations in Colombo, being held to mark Buddha Poornima on Friday. Following the event, he would proceed to the Central Province, which is home to thousands of upcountry Tamils, descendants of Indian-origin tea estate workers brought down to Sri Lanka by the British.

Apart from inaugurating an India-funded hospital facility nearby, Mr. Modi will address a public meeting in the estates, in which President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe are expected to participate. Wasps are commonly found insects in tropical Sri Lanka and are known to have a formidable sting. Wasp attacks are often reported in the island’s tea estates, where workers are most vulnerable. “We have cleared the nests and declared the area safe for the VVIPs to visit,” an officer in-charge told AFP.

Mr. Modi will also visit the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy, before returning to New Delhi on Friday night.

Sri Lankan police have deployed 6,000 additional police personnel for his security, and made special traffic arrangements.

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