Based on ‘security considerations’ Sri Lanka cancels landing visa facility to 78 countries. Visitors form these countries could make online applications from September 28 onwards for Colombo to process visas, Daily Mirror reported Monday, citing a SL Immigration Department official.
The 78 countries are yet to be named and getting online visa prior to arrival will be mandatory from 01 January 2012. Through the process genocidal Colombo aims to differentiate, screen and deny visa to diaspora Eezham Tamils having foreign passports, said diaspora political circles adding that this is another intimidation tactic. As property rights and even visiting rights of Eezham Tamils are targeted in subtle ways, only jokers can deny that there is no structural genocide in the island, diaspora circles further said.
Even during the height of the genocidal war Sri Lanka has not cancelled the landing visa facility extended to visitors from a number of countries, especially from the West.
Colombo’s current paranoia at a time when powers and establishments overtly and covertly shield the genocidal State and regime, only shows that Colombo is not worried of the establishments but is worried of the peoples of the world and of the diaspora, said a civil activist in Colombo.
On differentiating people of Eezham Tamil origin in issuing visas, New Delhi has already set a model to Colombo.
There was a time when Eezham Tamils having foreign citizenships and passports were selectively denied visa by Indian diplomatic missions that looked into the country of origin of the applicants.
One Indian mission even displayed a notice in its visa office in a Western country where SL-origin diaspora is predominantly Eezham Tamil that the SL origin applicants even if granted with visa will be permitted to land only at a particular airport in India.
Tamil diaspora circles think that the decision aims to differentiate visitors of Eezham Tamil origin having foreign passports, in order to deny visa for them.
Visitors from Singapore and Maldives will continue to get landing visa, since these two countries extend the same facility to Sri Lanka passport holders.