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Tamil poet barred from visiting Sri Lanka to attend book launch

The Sri Lankan government has stopped an internationally renowned Tamil poet from visiting the island to attend the launch of his latest book in the northern town of Tamil speaking Jaffna on Sunday.

Tamil poet and award winning film actor VIS Jayapalan's  application for a visa to enter Sri Lanka has been turned down this week.

'Strange reason'

Jayapalan says that the Sri Lankan authorities gave a 'very strange' reason for refusing the visa.

"The authorities say that I cannot apply for a visit visa claiming that I possess a Sri Lanka resident visa," he told JDS.

"It is really strange as I don't have any type of visa for Sri Lanka and when I asked whether I could apply for it after entering Colombo, that was also turned down".

Jayapalan was due to launch 'Sekku Gona',  the translation of three of his Tamil novellas  to Sinhala.

Arrested & deported

The event in the public library was to be addressed  by visiting Sinhala academics and writers who were in the forefront of the campaign to elect the present government to office.

Oslo based Jayapalan was arrested and deported by the former government in 2013 November when he visited his traditional hometown in the north after decades  in exile.

© JDS

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Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka

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