IBA claims SL has revoked visas of human rights experts

Staff Writer

The International Bar Association claims that Sri Lanka has revoked visas of human rights experts issued in August, for a meeting coinciding with the Commonwealth Summit.
Foreign Media reports quoted the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute or IBAHRI as saying that they were due to attend a seminar titled: Making Commonwealth Values a Reality: The Rule of Law and the Independence of the Legal Profession.
IBAHRI said Sri Lankan authorities revoked the visas on Wednesday saying they were unable to facilitate any visits during an embargoed period from October 20 to November 20.
President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka, Attorney-at-Law, Upul Jayasuriya was quoted by AFP as saying that the argument from the government was that the BASL did not get permission from the Ministry of External Affairs to hold the seminar.
Meanwhile, Reuters reports that the Ministry of External Affairs had said the BASL which invited the IBAHRI delegation, had not followed the necessary procedure of securing the Ministry’s agreement for a conference involving international participants. The Ministry had said in a statement that the IBAHRI claim was a “gross misrepresentation of facts and an attempt to sully the image of Sri Lanka.”