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Krishna’s Lanka visit postponed by a month

[Express Buzz, Monday, 18 October 2010 09:21 No Comment]

External affairs minister S M Krishna’s visit to the island nation and the India-Sri Lankan Joint Commission meeting in Colombo have been postponed by a month.

Krishna, who was to chair the Commission, was to be in the island nation on October 28 and 29 as per the previous plan, but Lankan external affairs minister G L Peries told The Sunday Island in New Delhi that his Indian counterpart would be coming a month later, between November 25 and 28.

Indian sources told Express that the change was necessitated due to the clash of dates of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Japan fixed for October and the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s visit to China.

Indians misuse visa on entry

Indians and Pakistanis are grossly misusing Sri Lanka’s “visa on entry” policy. According to The Sunday Times there may be more than 20,000 foreigners, mainly Indians and Pakistanis, who have been staying in Lanka after the expiry of their 30-day visitors’ visa, and working in various establishments. “Most of them are known to be working in eateries as cooks, waiters, labourers or domestics, in several towns,” the paper said.

Asylum seekers

Several overstaying foreigners, especially Pakistanis, register themselvesas asylum seekers and refugees with the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees (UNHCR). According to UNHCR’s deputy representative Jennifer Pegonis,there are 210 asylum seekers and 146 refugees from Pakistan. Their cases are being processed.

Already, 205 Pakistanis had been granted refugee status, Pegonis said.

Reacting to the paper’s finding that there could be more than 20,000 cases of people misusing the visa-on-arrival facility, Controller of Immigration Chulananda Perera said he could not give figures as the checking was still on.

Three Lankan kids raped daily: police

The Sri Lankan police headquarters has reported that at least three children are raped daily in the island nation.

[Full Coverage]

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