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Port workers in Colombo threaten to boycott south Indian cargo

Press Trust of India  |  Colombo 

Port workers here today threatened to stop handling cargo from south Indian ports to protest the harassment of Sri Lankan monks and pilgrims in Tamil Nadu.

"We can't silently watch the harassment of our monks and pilgrims in Tamil Nadu. We want to stop handling cargo from Indian ports as a result", Mahesh Samarawickrema, a dock workers' trade union official told reporters.

Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalitha had earlier refused to host the Lankan cricketers in Chennai in view of the growing political tensions, stemming from the treatment of ethnic Tamils in Sri Lanka.

The port workers held placards against Tamil Nadu politicians Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi, in the port premises.

However, port official Nalin Aponso said there had been no official response from the port management to the dock workers demands' to stop handling cargo from South India.

Port figures showed that almost 60 per cent of Colombo port's annual container volume of 4.1 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent unit, a measure used for capacity in container transportation) comes from south Indian ports.

First Published: Tue, April 02 2013. 19:30 IST