Monks from Myanmar refused visa at Katunayake Airport

Sources said that a discussion was held today between officials of the Immigration Department and the Foreign Ministry where the decision not to grant visas to Myanmar nationals was discussed. A group of monks from Myanmar have been refused a visa at the Katunayake Airport by immigration officers.Sources said that seven monks had been refused entry at the airport. The Government had earlier decided to suspend issuing visas for tourists from Myanmar following fears that Rohingya Muslims may attempt to enter Sri Lanka to seek refuge. Thousands of Rohingya Muslims have fled their homes in Rakhine state after the government intensified ‘clearance operations’ following an attack by Rohingya militants on border posts, in which 12 security officials were killed.Report by Indika Sri Aravinda While Sri Lanka will continue to approve visas for diplomats from Myanmar, visas will be granted only to select individuals from Myanmar after a close screening process.More than 1 million Rohingya live in apartheid-like conditions in Myanmar‘s Rakhine State, where many in the Buddhist majority consider them interlopers from Bangladesh. read more