CHENNAI: The Naam Thamizhar Party led by Kollywood director Seeman on Friday condemned the assault on the Lankan tourists in Chennai and categorically denied their involvement in the incident.
Speaking to Express, Seeman said, "Naam Thamizhar Party organises protests openly after announcing it well in advance. Our way of conducting matters are well known to one and all. We abhor violence in any form. If anybody (cadre) violates the line, the party will take action against him." According to a new theory that is doing the rounds, it was the Sinhalese tourists who had provoked the passersby and motorists near Periamet and Purasaiwalkam by staging a victorylike march with their country's flags.
A shop owner at Periamet claimed that the Lankan tourists, who were seen walking in a group towards Perambur Barracks Road, had carried Lankan flags, which was seen as a victory rally by the Sinhalese.
According to Tamil groups, the 'provocation' might have triggered the reaction by a few Tamil youth."Though we had seen flocking of Sinhalese tourists to Tamil Nadu and other parts of the country in the past, we have never seen them with flags and such assertive march," the shop owner said.
Meanwhile, the May 17 Movement too strongly condemned the incident. In a statement, the movement said, "Chennai and Tamil Nadu has never been a place of disturbance to the tourists from the nook and corner of the world. Even during at the peak of genocidal war, the Sinhalese visited, stayed and shopped in Chennai without any fear as Tamilians are known and praised for their hospitality.
They said it was wrong to portray the Naam Thamizhar Party as a radical outfit.