Monday February 18, 2019

Sri Lanka reverses draconian passport rule on asylum seekers

By Our Political Correspondent

Jun 01, 2016 15:42 PM GMT+0530 | 3 Comment(s)

ECONOMYNEXT - Sri Lanka's government decided on Wednesday to end draconian regulations imposed by the previous regime to deprive passports to nationals who had fled the country fearing persecution.

In 2011, the Rajapaksa administration had ordered all Sri Lankan missions not to issue fresh passports to nationals who had claimed asylum overseas, depriving them of an opportunity to return home.

"The government has issued a circular today ending the restrictive practice of preventing the issuance of passports to Sri Lankan citizens resident abroad who were compelled to leave Sri Lanka due to political persecution," the government said in a statement.

The Rajapaksa regime had been accused of serious violation of the rights of Sri Lankan citizens by refusing to renew their passports.

Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera was instrumental in getting the government to undo the unlawful orders that were still being carried out by the immigration controller.

"The Government has directed the Controller-General, Department of Immigration and Emigration, to issue a circular ending this draconian practice and restore the procedure followed since Independence of enabling every Sri Lankan citizen living abroad to obtain a passport."

Political sources said the government's gesture was also aimed at ensuring reconciliation seven years after the end of the Tamil separatist war.

While there is a large number of Sri Lankan Tamils who have sought asylum abroad, a significant number of Sinhalese too fled the country in recent decades fearing death or political persecution. (COLOMBO, June 1, 2016)




  1. Sinhala Canadian June 02, 06:04 AM

    Excellent job. Think of the foreign exchange the country can earn by allowing all Sri Lankan to have access to get back. Rules and regulations must be imposed within the country and allow everyone to enjoy. But be firm with rules

  2. nobofy June 02, 02:50 AM

    Most of them are not genuine asylum seekers.(90) still Slankans are misusing the Law and system in europ etc. including SL diplomatic staff in the past and even now. you have to give respect to get respect.

  3. carlos June 02, 01:04 AM

    Wish they would inform all their embassies and consulates all over the world

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