Sri Lanka expels 200 Islamic clerics after Easter attacks | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

16 June,


Sri Lanka expels 200 Islamic clerics after Easter attacks

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Sri Lanka has expelled over 600 foreign nationals, including around 200 Islamic clerics, since the Easter suicide bombings blamed on a local militant group, a minister told AFP on Sunday (May 5).

Home Affairs Minister Vajira Abeywardena said the clerics had entered the country legally, but amid a security crackdown after the attacks were found to have overstayed their visas, for which fines were imposed and they were expelled from the island.

"Considering the current situation in the country, we have reviewed the visas system and took a decision to tighten visa restrictions for religious teachers," Mr Abeywardena said. "Out of those who were sent out, about 200 were Islamic preachers."

The minister did not give the nationalities of those who have been expelled, but police have said many foreigners who have overstayed their visas since the Easter attacks were from Bangladesh, India, Maldives and Pakistan.

"There are religious institutions which have been getting down foreign preachers for decades," Mr Abeywardena said. "We have no issues with them, but there are some which mushroomed recently. We will pay more attention to them."

The Straits Times

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