The Immigration and Emigration Department will set up a special unit to monitor the activities of some tourists to Sri Lanka because several of them come here for purposes other than tourism, a senior official said yesterday.
Immigration and Emigration Chief Chulananda Perera said the decision to ask the 161 Muslim visitors, who had arrived in Sri Lanka and had over stayed their visas, to leave the country before January 31 would not be changed.
“They must leave on or before January 31 and we have no intention of extending their visas. We have unconfirmed reports that they have been engaged in various activities other than tourism and some of the allegations had religious connotations,” Mr. Perea said.
He said preliminary inquiries had revealed that similar developments involving similar groups had been reported from many other Asian countries and therefore, it was extremely necessary to take pre-emptive action.
The Immigration and Emigration Department will set up a permanent monitoring unit to keep a tab on suspicious visitors to Sri Lanka on a temporary or tourist visa and engage in unscrupulous activities on the pretext of engaging in social or religious activities.
“This will not affect genuine tourists. We do not want to spoil their stay here in any way. They will be free to enjoy their stay while in Sri Lanka,” Mr. Perera said.
Meanwhile Western Province Governor Alavi Moulana dismissed any allegations that they had jihad connections and said these allegations were the work of some other Muslim group in the country.
“They are genuine tourists and without any ulterior motives. They should have been given an opportunity to extend their visa by the Commissioner General and even advised modalities of doing so if necessary,” Mr. Moulana said.
When asked why they had overstayed their visa, Mr. Moulana said he had no idea about it and added that they should have been given an option and added that he had appraised President Mahinda Rajapaksa on this matter. (Sandun A. Jayasekera)
Next time we see a Sudha at Dhalada Maligawa call police
Hadira Tuesday, 24 January 2012 05:05 AM
Good move to deport them ,Read wiki leaks cables connecting the groups involvement in suspected criminal activities elsewhere.
TMA Tuesday, 24 January 2012 05:08 AM
Haha nice way 2 promote terrorism, just like N. Korea. All the countries should know this
KD Tuesday, 24 January 2012 05:28 AM
Of course they will say, purpose of my visit is to engage in unscrupulous activities.
maha kalu sinhalaya Tuesday, 24 January 2012 05:23 AM
Banana republic, full of racists
Shai Tuesday, 24 January 2012 05:39 AM
Fold some $ with passport, no questions at all.
Mohamed Tuesday, 24 January 2012 05:43 AM
kevin, how do you know they are extremist??? if so why don't you ask Mr. Perera to take legal action. Better think before you talk.
Trualf Tuesday, 24 January 2012 06:51 AM
The people who use the world EXTREMIST they are riyal EXTREMISTS. It was my life experience I have seen many of them. One side I'm also extremist coz I also used this word. Sorry.
Rizvi Tuesday, 24 January 2012 07:02 AM
Kevin seems to be an ignorant, ignore him.
A tourist can: Drink, @ks, smoke, Dance, tour, spreads good and bad and many more as they do not obstruct law of the land.
So do these guys, no drinks, no @ks, no smoke, no dance, yes participating in some Islamic activities (they spend only for food and for some purchases of our items)
If overstayed charge them money as other countries. Then deport. easy, no issues.
farook Tuesday, 24 January 2012 07:14 AM
thabliq group creating terrorism please stop them to com SL
Saradial Tuesday, 24 January 2012 07:33 AM
No room for extremist!
Then what about you?
chatura, saudi arabi Tuesday, 24 January 2012 07:29 AM
Keep it Up Mr. Perera, Law is Law. every countries have their own emmigration laws for touriest & non tourists..do every one think in any country if you visit can overstay, you will be deported straitaway.. Sri Lanka is a country with good respects & proudneses.
Bigsam Tuesday, 24 January 2012 07:30 AM
What about a new unit to protect them from murderous govt politicians?
Saradial Tuesday, 24 January 2012 07:41 AM
The problem is not they involved in unscrupulous activities. Problem is they have come with turist visa and involved in religious activities like our Buddhists going religious oversees visits in turists visa. if government introduced some other visa system for who visit for religious visits problem over
Sampath Tuesday, 24 January 2012 07:45 AM
Hai hai.... this is same side goal, if we did same thing its not wrong.
Ralph Anthony Tuesday, 24 January 2012 07:54 AM
They are nothing by Al Kadia, supporters, who would be sent home immediately. Just look at the problems they have causing the public in Muslim and other Countries in the world. It is killing all the way in the name of religion.
I agree with the marching orders given to them
nalin Tuesday, 24 January 2012 08:05 AM
what does this matter have to do with Alavi Maulana? Why is he bringing this matter to president? If they overstayed in the country they should be driven off.
sajitha Tuesday, 24 January 2012 08:06 AM
It will be same for them. Dont you know that our people who goes abroad for study and work falls in to illegal immigrants in those country. By the way, what are you trying to critisize?
Apsara Tuesday, 24 January 2012 08:18 AM
I salute Mr. Perera for his prompt action in this regard. Indeed the activities of all tourists shall be monitored irrespective of their race, ethnicity, color, and country.
The monitoring team shall be from intellectuals coming up with international exposure to different environment/cultures.
Fair N Square Tuesday, 24 January 2012 11:38 AM
Alos do not forget to track ALL indian small timebusinessmen who bring in Sareeand Salwars... They have veen travelling on tourist visas for ages....aloslet other governtments al so know that our students will NOT work illegally and our SAO called TOURISTS will NOT over stay and ask for asylum.... This is nothing new. the Immigration authorites jolly well know that hese ppl come and GO, they dont STAY for good.... THINK outside the box... I bet he's a JHU supporter.....
sahewa Tuesday, 24 January 2012 11:34 AM
mohammed - these guys are linked to al qaida. Sri lanka will have another problem in our hands if these muslim clerics are allowed to stay. Unfortunately these muslim politicians intervene and because mahinda rajapakse is not a resolute politician anymore he might rescind the order. But the fact is islam is the single biggest threat to sri lanka in the future.
Ismail Tuesday, 24 January 2012 11:47 AM
Please do not poss unnecessary comments. Coming on visitor visa and engaging in any other activities are normally prohibited in any country. However this has been a practice for long time in Sri Lanka, this people may have not taken care on this. These poise and religious people will never purposely do this. All of the religious people have done the same thing. Government has the right to ask them to leave the country If they over stayed. They may go out of the country and apply for proper visa if they need one and it is the duty of the immigration Dept. to check and issue the correct visas for them. Religious people used to visit various countries to preach their religion from the ancient time. So don't make this as an issue.
Kolomba Kaka Tuesday, 24 January 2012 12:23 PM
People come and go for years without any political involvement. This whole matter is a stupid creation of the MEDIA.
Nzr Tuesday, 24 January 2012 12:31 PM
Our people's going abroad as a ?? Modayonta magic
kevin Tuesday, 24 January 2012 01:06 AM
Send them straight away, No room for extremist! i thank you Mr Perera. dont change your mind. good step!!!
Lankan Muslim Tuesday, 24 January 2012 01:02 PM
If they had violated visa requirements then it is necessary to ask them to leave. This has nothing to do with Muslims / others communal thinking. This is our country's rule and should be followed. Authorities should tell them which type of visa they should have taken for the purpose of participating in mosque activities. They have been here since last 2 decades so this is not something new for them.
loku gamaya Tuesday, 24 January 2012 01:21 PM
you need to see what country .Some contries allow you to work certain hours ..problems ?
gajan99 Tuesday, 24 January 2012 01:59 AM
I would like to be a monitor.
Gamaya Tuesday, 24 January 2012 04:12 AM
Don't they have to apply for the visa before they arrive? Didn't immigration department ask reason for the visit before issue the visa?
lankanvoice Tuesday, 24 January 2012 04:18 AM
You know well sir about Alavi Moulana's power! So, no need strong statement, later you may withdraw your stand.
sltk2004 Tuesday, 24 January 2012 04:30 AM
What about our guys who go abroad to study but then work there ?
Cooray Tuesday, 24 January 2012 04:43 AM
Its time the department prevented all these Russian women from overstaying.
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