India-Lanka Bilateral Trade meet postponed
By Express News Service - CHENNAI/TIRUCHY
06th September 2012 07:54 AM
A stakeholder consultation on India-Sri Lanka Bilateral Trade and Procedural Non-Tariff Barriers that was to be held in Chennai on Wednesday was indefinitely postponed on account of the protest and attack on Tuesday against Sri Lankan pilgrims visiting Poondi Matha and Velankanni churches in Tamil Nadu.
The objective of the meeting, which the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), Madras Institute of Development Studies (MIDS) and CUTS International had jointly planned to organise, was to deliberate on the need for policy measures to facilitate trade between India and Lanka. The measures include the need for improving transport and transit facilities as well as simplifying customs procedures. Officials from the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Sri Lanka, Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka and Indian Institute of Trade, New Delhi, were expected to participate.
A pilgrimage to shrines in TN turned out to be a nightmare for 184 Lankans when Tamil groups protested against them and later attacked buses that took them to the Trichy airport. The pilgrims had to cut short their visit and leave India on a special flight on Tuesday.
Stir by Breakaway Group of PMK In a related development, a group of activists from Thamizhar Vazhvurimai Katchi, a breakaway group of the PMK, were arrested when they tried to block trains condemning the military training to Lankans at the Defence Services Staff College at Wellington.
The cadre condemned Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his silence over the letters written by CM J Jayalalithaa asking the Centre to send back the military personnel from Lanka.
The protesters also flayed the Centre for the not taking initiative to secure the release of TN’s share of Cauvery water at the appropriate time. Condemning the Karnataka government for its adamant refusal to release water from its dams, which were nearing their full capacity, the workers insisted on stopping supply of electricity generated at the Neyveli Lignite Corporation to the neighbouring state. “If the water that falls on Karnataka soil belong to Karnataka alone, what about the lignite mined from the grounds in TN,” they asked. They asserted that electricity should not be supplied to Karnataka till the latter released Cauvery water from its dams.
Raising slogans, the workers proceeded to the railway junction from the Khadi Craft Junction.
They were stopped by the Cantonment police. When they tried to overpower police and move towards the railway junction, all the members were arrested.
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