The Tamil Nadu police have been put on high alert after Sri Lanka passed the Colombo Port City Economic Commission Bill giving complete control of the Hambantota Port to China.
Sri Lanka Parliament passed the controversial Bill that declared 269 hectares of land reclaimed from the sea and annexed to the city of Colombo as the nation’s first Special Economic Zone for service-oriented industries. This would mean that the major Chinese establishment would be just 290 km away from Kanniyakumari in southern Tamil Nadu, police sources said in Chennai on Sunday.
Stating that passing of the Bill was a major diplomatic and strategic concern for India as China’s footprint would increase in the neighbouring countries, the sources said the move evoked instant protests from not only Opposition parties in Sri Lanka but other organisations like the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam. Acting on intelligence inputs, Director-General of Police J.K. Tripathy instructed senior police officers across Tamil Nadu to intensify vigil to thwart any attempt to stage protests in front of Sri Lankan or Chinese establishments in the State.
Referring to statements of a Tamil nationalist group leader that the silence of the international community on the issues in Sri Lanka had caused “great unrest and outrage among Tamils”, the police chief said there were possibilities that members of the pro-Tamil organisations or sympathisers of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam may condemn the Sri Lankan government for approving the Colombo Port City Economic Commission Bill and attempt agitations targeting Sri Lankan and Chinese establishments.