CHENNAI: With anti-Sri Lanka sentiments running very high in Tamil Nadu, the Under-15 cricket team with 16 members from the island country has been asked to leave Chennai due to security reasons. The team had reached Chennai on Sunday night from Colombo to take part in the JM Haroon Cricket tournament. But tournament officials said that the team was denied permission to participate in the tournament on Monday morning owing to security reasons. The tournament had 12 participating teams and is scheduled from August 4 to 7.
But on Monday morning Tamil Nadu Police officials urged them to leave the city. The officials told them that they could not guarantee their safety. The Sri Lankan team left for Colombo after meeting Tamil Nadu Police officers. The development comes just a few days after the Sri Lankan government was forced to withdraw the controversial pictures of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa from its defence website. The Sri Lankan Defence Ministry also tendered an unqualified apology to both Modi and Jaya over the defamatory pictures on its website lampooning the two leaders.
Earlier, Jayalalithaa had written to Modi demanding an apology from the Sri Lankan High Commissioner. The article on the website titled - how meaningful are Jayalalithaa’s love letters to Narendra Modi had pictures of Jayalalithaa dreaming about Modi. Setting aside their differences, political parties in Tamil Nadu had strongly backed Jayalalithaa over the issue. Hours after the article was published, it led to political furore accompanied by protests by AIADMK and Tamil outfits in various parts of the state besides NDA allies demanding India severe ties with Colombo even as the piece was later removed from the website.
Incidentally, in 2012, Jayalalithaa had, in line with her strident stance against Sri Lanka, ordered the sending home of a football team from that country which arrived in Chennai to play a friendly match. The action came against the backdrop of her opposition to India training Sri Lankan military personnel not only in the state but also anywhere else in the country, saying the Lankan forces had committed war crimes against Tamils in the island nation.
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