Public Order Minister John Amaratunga yesterday said a probe will be launched into the manner in which diplomatic passports had been issued during the previous regime to non-diplomats.
Minister Amaratunga told the Daily Mirror that he would obtain the list of individuals to whom diplomatic passports had been issued during the previous regime and check them against the regulations in circulars detailing the eligibility for a ‘light red passport’.
“From time to time, circulars have been revised and additional people had been granted diplomatic passports under varying categories. However, I will ensure that such cases will be checked to see whether they fell into the specific categories and whether the necessary requirements had been fullfilled,” he said.
The Minister also said if any individual was found to be in possession of a diplomatic passport without fulfilling the necessary requirements, measures would be taken to cancel them and take appropriate action against them.
Last year, Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam as an Opposition MP revealed in parliament that some 2,872 diplomatic passports had been issued by the Department of Immigration and Emigration to various individuals regardless of the ‘exclusivity of a list of pre-approved personalities’ during a period of nine years since 2005.
He listed out the individuals along with their passport numbers to which included housewives, photographers, merchants, cooks, designers, media secretaries and students.
Responding to these allegations however, the Department of Immigration and Emigration then said that the relevant circulars had been followed in issuing the diplomatic passports. (Lakna Paranamanna)
All SL citizens have right to ask for a DPL but authorities should verify if individuals have meet the requirements. Question the Department of Immigration and Emigration not people who got them, seems you are now barking to cover your own faults
Nelum Saturday, 28 February 2015 10:45 AM
First of all find out the officer(s) responsible for removing the application forms submitted by of S. Weerawansa to obtain a diplomatic passport.
Veda-mama Saturday, 28 February 2015 11:30 AM
Taking measures to cancel the DPL passports will not be the same as to take action against them as long as the documents produced to obtain the Passport were not forged.
ala Saturday, 28 February 2015 11:30 AM
I know for a fact that SL diplomatic passports were issued to Iranians!!!
Gobba Saturday, 28 February 2015 12:27 PM
John Amaratunga is one of those that are involved in the protection of former regime members. So he is not fit to carry out these duties. Maybe he has an agenda to make life miserable for the new government and bring about a dismal view from the public. If Ministers cannot do their jobs SMOOTHLY and QUICKLY, Dear President Maithripala, chase them all out.
Ebahtog Saturday, 28 February 2015 02:10 PM
Dear Minister "appropriate action" sounds very vague. Is this how the previous regime got away and getting away with many crimes?.
hitapang machan Saturday, 28 February 2015 02:20 PM
what is necessary is to check the criteria. The original criteria and the amendments must be published. via DM Android App
Freebird Saturday, 28 February 2015 02:37 PM
If an ordinary citizen did this by this time he or she will be in jail. But politicians are exempted in Sri Lanka via DM Android App
Bala Saturday, 28 February 2015 03:30 PM
2400 of DPL passports is mind boggling. With such a lot of diplomats roaming the world, how did Sri Lanka get such bad international publicity ?
sb Monday, 02 March 2015 06:05 AM
Another useless Minister WHY is there no age limit for politicians? WE seem to ignore Deaf ,Dumb,Senile,
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