Sept 08 (TGT) CHENNAI- A leading hotel in south Tamil Nadu’s Madurai city has denied that it is employing a large number of Sri Lankans.
The clarification from Heritage Madurai hotel comes after a Tamil outfit leading an agitation against Lankans stormed the hotel on Thursday.
Heritage said it has only one staff from Sri Lanka, who is a Tamil and not a Sinhala.
“There is no other Sri Lankan working in our property,” said Rukmini Thiagarajan, executive director of Heritage Madurai, in a statement.
Cadres of Naam Tamilar Katchi, We are Tamils party, on Thursday tried to storm the hotel and was prevented by police.
The same outfit was involved in an attack on Sri Lankan pilgrims at the Our Lady of Velankanni Catholic shrine in Velankanni on Tuesday.
Thursday’s protest followed a fresh attack by Sri Lankan navy on fishermen from Tamil Nadu. In the attack off Kodiakarai coast, a boat was damaged on Thursday, officials confirmed.
Officials quoted eight fishermen of Arucottuthurai in Vedaranyam as saying that the Lankans attacked them with iron rods after jumping into the boats. Naam Tamilar leader Seeman, a movie director, said his outfit will continue protests against Lankans until Tamils receive honourable treatment.
On Thursday morning his cadres assembled in front of the Heritage hotel and demanded that its Sri Lankan staff be packed off.
They alleged that about a dozen Sinhalese were employed in the hotel and raised slogans against them.
The Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TNCCI) has urged the government to check the attack on visiting Lankans and appealed to Lanka to withdraw the travel advisery it has issued.
“The image and hospitality of Tamil Nadu people should not be allowed to be tarnished by mindless harassment of foreign tourists,” the trade body said.
TNCCI in a joint statement pointed out that India-Sri Lanka trade is about $5 billion and export to Lanka is eight times more than import.
“TNCCI is taking a 50-member trade delegation on the first flight to Colombo to meet our counterparts to improve bilateral trade and investment. On no account, tourism and pilgrimage traffic between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka should be disturbed,” it said.