Nepal has refused to grant refugee status to close associates of former Army Chief Sarath Fonseka, residing in the country. The Sri Lankans who worked with Fonseka during his presidential campaign have been reportedly staying "semi-underground" in Kathmandu for the past few months -seeking asylum in Nepal, the Hindustan Times reported this morning.
The Nepal government has however turned down the request.
"This information is news to me and this is the first time such a thing has happened. We have written to the foreign ministry to seek their directives," Thosapala Hewage, Sri Lanka's Ambassador to Nepal, told the Hindustan Times.
When contacted the Ministry of External Affairs in Sri Lanka was yet unaware of this development.
A report in Tuesday's The Kathmandu Post stated that the asylum seekers who had fled Sri Lanka following Fonseka's electoral loss and amid fear of retribution by the present regime could be arrested soon.
The Sri Lankans who had entered Nepal via India in the second half of last year fear that if they are sent back they could be falsely branded terrorists and handed life or death sentences.