Sri Lanka, Nov. 13 -- The seminar on 'Commonwealth Values and the Role of the Legal Profession' organised by the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) in collaboration with the International Bar Association
(IBA) which was to be held today at the "Grand Monarch" at Talawathugoda, has been cancelled.
The President of the BASL, Upul Jayasuriya said visas issued to UN Special Rapporteur for Judges and Lawyers, Ms. Gabriela Knaul, the first ever UN Special Rapporteur for Judges and Lawyers Dato Param Kumaraswamy and a senior representative of the IBA, Alex Wilks who were to address the seminar were cancelled.
A statement issued by Mr. Jayasuriya said the visa's were applied for by letter dated August 17, 2013 by the Secretary, Bar Association of Sri Lanka along with a visa for Mr. Sadakat Kadri. The first three visas were issued whereas Mr. Sadakat Kadri was refused his visa. Visa's that were issued bear the following ETA Nos.
It added that all these three Visas were granted on the basis of travel purpose as, CONFERENCE, WORKSHOPS AND SEMINARS. At no stage has the Bar Association of Sri Lanka been written to by the Department of Immigration or any other agency of the Government relating to any prior approval for the purpose of holding 'special procedures' applicable for the holding of Seminars with the participation of foreign dignitaries. "It appears that the Ministry of External Affairs is acting with miscomprehension of facts on the grant of visas which is a matter for the Controller of immigration and not the Ministry of External Affairs.
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