Colombo: Sri Lanka's Tamil and Muslim communities are concerned about the recent increase in visits of Chinese Embassy officials to Sri Lanka's Northern and Eastern provinces. Tamils and Muslims form the majority population in the provinces, Sri Lanka-based online news publication Daily Mirror reported.

A high level delegation led by the Chinese Embassy's Charge d'affaires Hu Wei was in Sri Lanka's Northern province in January. The delegation took part in various events such as handing out dry rations, stationery assistance for schools, and setting up safe drinking water plants in remote villages across the region.

Many are concerned about the distribution of Chinese-produced rice as it is reported to cause food poisoning and ill health. People are worried about the quality of dry ration that they have received.

China has gifted Rs. 5 billion worth of school uniform material to millions of Sri Lankan students to meet 70 percent of the country's requirement in 2023, according to Daily Mirror.

According to the Chinese Embassy in Colombo, the first batch of three million meters of finished material in 38,000 boxes was shipped to Sri Lanka in 20 containers from China.

Tamil Nadu earlier flagged serious security concerns over People's Liberation Army's (PLA) increased presence in Sri Lanka. Tamil Nadu also flagged serious security concerns over the increased presence of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China in Sri Lanka.

An alert issued by the State's intelligence agency said the activities of the Chinese in the neighbouring country are a concern to national security and called for intensified vigil along the coastline, Daily Mirror reported.

Constant surveillance was required in the country's coastal districts due to the movement of PLA cadres and deployment of hi-tech gadgets such as satellites, drones, and other communication equipment in northern Sri Lanka.

According to sources, the PLA used sophisticated gadgets while claiming that they are launching sea cucumber farming.

The free movement of Chinese nationals in many parts of northern Sri Lanka, including Mullaitheevu, Paruthitheevu, Analaitheevu, Meesalai, and Chavakkacheri, triggered discontentment among Tamil fishermen. They had expressed apprehension that the Chinese were exploiting the rich sea wealth, which is their only source of livelihood, according to Daily Mirror.

Local Tamils in Sri Lanka fear that the current situation might lead to division among Sri Lankan nationals and curtail India's influence on Tamils living in the northern and eastern parts of Sri Lanka.