Palitha Kohona refused visa by Sri Lanka’s UK High Commission

[TamilNet, Thursday, 10 September 2009, 11:51 GMT]
The British High Commission in Colombo Wednesday refused visas to outgoing Foreign Secretary Palitha Kohona and former Deputy Tourism Minister and ruling party parliamentarian Arjuna Ranatunge, according to Daily Mirror. Palitha Kohona and Arjuna Ranatunge had submitted their passports to the British High Commission for visa to London but to their surprise the passports were returned without any valid reason for turning down their visa applications, the paper said.

Foreign Ministry’s Chief of Protocol, through whom Dr. Kohona’s passport was forwarded to the British High Commission, later sought an explanation for returning the passport but a High Commission official had reportedly told the Foreign Office that the Foreign Secretary should be personally present at the High Commission to obtain the visa.

Foreign Ministry, however, had insisted that Dr. Kohona had no reason to be personally present at the High Commission to obtain the visa as he was the Foreign Secretary of the Country.

Foreign Ministry had later again sought a visa to London for the Foreign Secretary, but the second attempt too was rejected by the High Commission saying there was not enough time to process the visa.

Foreign Ministry officials, who insisted that the application was given with 24 hours notice, had made several attempts to contact the British High Commissioner and his Deputy to seek their intervention but they could not be contacted over the telephone, the government sources said.

The government is of the view that the British High Commission had violated diplomatic protocols by rejecting a visa for the Foreign Secretary and parliamentarian Arjuna Ranatunge and felt this had further strained relations between Britain and Sri Lanka.

Dr. Kohona left the country late last night to take up his new post at the United Nations as the Permanent Representative to Sri Lanka.

Government sources said Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama was expected to summon the British High Commissioner Dr. Peter Hayes Thursday to seek an explanation over the visa rejection, particularly to the Foreign Secretary.

Earlier Attorney General Mohan Peiris was also inconvenienced by the British High Commission which asked him to appear in person for an interview to grant a visa.


Chronology:

 

Latest 15 Reports
10.07.20 00:05   Photo
SL Police harasses Shivajilingam at 25th Remembrance of Navaali massacre in Jaffna
09.07.20 09:33  
SL Navy brutally assaults Tamil fishers in Mullaith-theevu
08.07.20 16:33   Photo
Sinhala colonists encroach into Kangku-veali, Mean-kamam reservoirs in Trincomalee
07.07.20 19:36   Photo
Colombo schemes to expand ilmenite scooping into North from Pulmoaddai in East
06.07.20 19:06  
Colombo transfers Tamil Political Prisoners to notorious Anuradhapura prison
05.07.20 23:06   Photo
University students, Shivajilingam brave SL harassment to commemorate fallen Black Tigers
04.07.20 22:28   Photo
Monk commanding Sinhala-Buddhicisation of North-East threatens Tamil villagers in Batticaloa
03.07.20 19:28   Photo
After Naavat-kuzhi, Colombo targets Poonakari for Sinhala colonisation across Jaffna lagoon
02.07.20 22:26  
Colombo imposes restrictions on Tamil valour related symbolism in schools of North
01.07.20 13:22  
New secret unit among four SL military and police squads competing to arrest Tamil youth in North
30.06.20 22:10  
Tamils blocked from accessing properties near SL Navy training base in Champoor, Trincomalee
29.06.20 23:29   Photo
Moragoda advising Gotabaya prompts Sinhala parties to scrap Provincial Councils
28.06.20 22:06  
India privileging BRIC/RIC over Quad ‘discordant’, says former US top diplomat
27.06.20 22:11  
Indo-Pacific expert wants US to seek opportunities in ‘Sri Lanka’
26.06.20 21:24  
Russia steps up influence on New Delhi to uphold “multilateralism” against US “rules-based order”
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=30206