Sri Lanka’s Chennai mission official hit in stoning (Second Lead, Changing dateline)

October 23rd, 2008 - 9:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai/Colombo, Oct 23 (IANS) A group of protesting students pelted stones at the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commissioner’s office here Thursday with the Sri Lankan foreign ministry saying an official of the mission was hit in the incident.The ministry, in a statement issued in Colombo, said the attempt by an “unruly group” to attack the Sri Lanka Deputy High Commissioner’s office was “thwarted”.

“In their attempt to break in, they had damaged the mission’s security post and notice board. A stone thrown from outside and directed at the mission hit one of the officers,” the statement said.

It said the matter was brought to the notice of Indian authorities and “action was taken immediately to intensify security for the premises and personnel” in the mission.

Heavy reinforcements were rushed to the mission, situated at No. 196, TTK Road in Alwarpet, about a kilometre away from the residences of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and Leader of Opposition J. Jayalalitha, police in Chennai said.

Sri Lankan Deputy High Commissioner P. Amza was away in Colombo at the time, diplomatic sources said.

“The miscreants suddenly broke glass window panes at the gate and entered the main building shouting slogans. Even as we rushed for cover, the police arrived and prevented further damage. Though nobody was hurt, the experience has left us shaken,” an employee at the mission told IANS.

Six police vehicles were later positioned at the mission, situated in a quiet street in the southern part of the city.

Protests were against the backdrop of the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka leading to the military action against the banned Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

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