Bank of Ceylon branch ransacked, staff assaulted
An unidentified mob on Thursday afternoon ransacked the Bank of Ceylon branch in Egmore, Chennai, and attacked its employees.
The attack is suspected to be orchestrated by a Tamil group in protest against the visit of Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapaksa to India on Friday.
The group barged into the Bank complex around 1.30 p.m. and attacked the police personnel on duty. While some damaged the guard's room other rushed to the first floor of the branch and vandalised furniture and other items. They attacked some bank staff including a trainee who is a city college student, police sources added.
Rajapaksa is all set to visit India on February 8 even as the political parties of Tamil Nadu are protesting his India tour. On Friday, February 8, Rajapaksa will visit Bodh Gaya in Bihar and Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh. He is also scheduled to meet the Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar during his visit to Bodh Gaya, according to media reports.
Meanwhile, in Chennai DMK chief M. Karunanidhi on Monday had pushed the Union government not to encourage the Sri Lankan President’s visit to the country. In a resolution adopted in the Tamil Eelam Supporters Organization (TESO) meeting led by Karunanidhi, it was observed that ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa takes advantage of our friendly attitude and traditional hospitality. “But he is a symbol of Sinhalese majoritarianism. India should not encourage his visit, as Tamils will not tolerate it.”
Pressing for a Tamil Eelam, Karunanidhi strongly advocated for a separate Eelam for Tamils in Sri Lanka and said that a separate Eelam will only be the solution to the problems of Sri Lankan Tamils. To meet this objective, Karunanidhi has appealed to the Central government to facilitate a resolution calling for a referendum during the general council meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) scheduled in March.
Karunanidhi has announced the party would stage a black–shirt demonstration in Chennai on February 8 opposing Rajapaksa’s visit to India. Karunanidhi alleged that Rajapaksa was the one “who massacred thousands of innocent Tamils and was seen as an enemy of humanity after being charged of inhuman war crimes and gross violations of human rights during the decades’-old war with the Tamil tiger rebels, LTTE.”
Other key political parties have also stated they will hold protests at multiple locations including outside Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s residence in New Delhi, opposing the Sri Lankan President’s India visit.
- Asian Tribune -