Chennai: Sri Lankan government Monday denied reports that it is “exploring the possibility” of shifting the Deputy High Commissioner’s office from Chennai to Thiruvananthapuram, following the recent incidents of violence against Lankans and their establishments in Tamil Nadu.
Sri Lankan Foreign Secretary Karunatilaka Amunugama told reporters that there was no move to shift the mission, as of now. He added that the move may be considered if the situation in Tamil Nadu worsens.
In a front page report on Sunday, the Sunday Times had said that the move to shift the DHC’s office from Chennai was triggered by the “harassment” of a senior staffer, Senior Superintendent of Police, Rohan Dias, by pro-Tamil agitators. However, Lankan Foreign Ministry officials dealing with India said that Dias had not been subjected to any harassment.
Threats and intimidation of Sri Lankan nationals and Sri Lankan property have been noted in Chennai.
The report claimed that even the Sri Lankan defence attaché based in Chennai had come under harassment.
Last week, two Buddhist monks came under attack triggering noisy protests here near the Indian High Commission premises and Sri Lanka's national carrier also suspended flights to Chennai.
Meanwhile, top Indian officials here met with senior Buddhist monks to try to allay fears.
The protests came as India voted against Sri Lanka alongside the US in a key UN human rights resolution, last week, that called for an independent and credible investigation into allegations of human rights violations towards the end of the island's three-decade civil war against Tamil separatists in 2009.