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Sri Lankan Minister forced to leave Coimbatore

Sri Lankan Minister Reginald Cooray was forced to leave Coimbatore abruptly on Thursday as activists from Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam (PDK) and Tamil Desa Poduvudamai Katchi (TDPK) flocked to his hotel to stage a protest.

The incident has angered the Chief Opposition Whip of Sri Lanka John Amaratunga, who slammed India's "step-motherly treatement" and called for an official protest against the Indian High Commissioner of Sri Lanka, reported ColomboPage.

The Minister for Minor Export Crop Promotion was in Coimbatore to tour the Sugarcane Breeding Institute, but it was cut short as 80 demonstrators from these organizations started shouting and condemning India with slogans for allowing the minister to enter Tamil Nadu.

Acknowledging the situation, police escorted the Minister through the back door of the hotel to the airport. According to The Hindu, the Minister left for Mumbai on a scheduled flight.

MDMK district secretary V Eswaran said,

“The state government has passed a resolution seeking an economic ban on Sri Lanka. But bureaucrats are inviting delegates from Sri Lanka. They are guilty of genocide and must not be allowed to visit our country.”

A group of 23 protesters from Naam Tamizhar Iyakkam were also removed by police as they protested against the Sugarcane Breeding Institute for attempting to host the Minister.

On March 7 Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, J Jeyalaithaa wrote a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh requesting him to take measures to discourage Lankan VIPs from making frequent trips to Tamil Nadu and to inform the state government prior to their trip, to which the Prime Minister assured he would.

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