Sept 04 (E24/7) Indians visiting Sri Lanka will be treated with respect and there would be no intimidation of the visitors during the upcoming T20 Cricket World Cup, said a senior diplomat in the UAE.
"The T20 Cricket World Cup is scheduled in Sri Lanka and we are expecting a lot of Indians to come and watch the matches there. We welcome tourists and visitors from India as well as Tamil Nadu and provide all hospitality. There should not be any concern among them," said Abdul Raheem, Sri Lanka's Consul General for Dubai and the Northern Emirates.
Indian cricket fans going to Sri Lanka to watch T20 Cricket World Cup fear retaliation and intimidation following attack on Sri Lankan nationals in Indian state of Tamil Nadu on Monday. Sri Lanka's government asked its citizens not to travel to the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu until further notice because of increasing intimidation of Sri Lankans.
The warning from the external affairs ministry follows an incident on Monday in which 184 Sri Lankan pilgrims were mobbed and had to seek refuge in the church.
"There have been several instances of Sri Lankans being attacked in India in the past as well. It is really unfortunate. We need to protect the interests of our people. However, it should be noted that the government has not banned Sri Lankans travelling to India. It is a travel warning," he told Emirates 24l7 in an interview on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Roshan Pereira a Sri Lankan national living in Dubai said Tamils have a strong animosity towards Sri Lankans, which is further fuelled by political parties in Tamil Nadu.
"It is high time the two communities learn to respect each other. Otherwise the problem is going to only escalate. We as a country have suffered for several decades because of sectarian issues. We want to leave the past and move on," he said.
The T20 Cricket World Cup will start in Sri Lanka on September 18.