Friday, September 7, 2012

Amnesty’s appeal to T.N. government

CHENNAI, September 7, 2012

Amnesty International, India, on Thursday urged the Tamil Nadu government to protect Sri Lankans visiting or living in the State.

"The authorities in Tamil Nadu must immediately put in place measures to ensure the safety of Sri Lankans visiting and living in India. They must promptly launch investigations into the attacks, and ensure that those responsible are brought to justice in fair trials," Amnesty International India's Chief Executive G. Ananthapadmanabhan said in a statement.

On Sunday, the State government ordered two visiting football teams from Sri Lanka, including a school team, to be sent back.

An official who permitted one of the teams to play a match was placed under suspension.

Soon after the attack on buses transporting pilgrims, the Government of Sri Lanka advised its citizens to avoid visiting Tamil Nadu in the interest of their safety.

"Political parties in Tamil Nadu are understandably concerned about continuing human rights violations in Sri Lanka.

"However, these concerns must not be translated into acts of violence targeting pilgrims and other visitors from Sri Lanka. Every visitor to Tamil Nadu must be able to enjoy the right to freedom of movement, religion and expression, as guaranteed under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights," Mr. Ananthapadmanabhan added.
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