By Leon Berenger
A member of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) was refused entry into the country on Thursday (11), shortly after landing at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), Katunayake, with his family, officials said yesterday (12).
They said that 48-year-old Suresnath Ratnabalam had arrived on……a scheduled Etihaad flight from Abu Dhabi along with his wife and two children at 3:45 p.m. and were stopped by Immigration officials at passport control as he had been blacklisted.
His family was, however, permitted entry but they had opted to stay with him.They are currently at the BIA transit lounge awaiting deportation, officials based at the airport added.
According to officials, extensive efforts are currently underway by interested parties to cancel the deportation order and allow the group to enter the country.
According to these officials, the family is believed to have contacted certain senior officials at the Department of Immigration and Emigration and other Government agencies.
They also said that some local groups with international links are also involved in the attempts to revoke the deportation order.
They added that Immigration Department is fighting an uphill battle against certain State agencies, including a top most Minister who are demanding that the deportation be revoked unconditionally.
“The family is being provided five-star treatment; people served with an X Form (also known as a deportation order) are usually kept in the detention room. However, in this particular case, the family has been provided hotel facilities inside the Airport,” one concerned official said.
Adamant Immigrations officials are hurriedly trying to put the family on the next available flight to Bangkok, Thailand, he added.Ratnabalam along with scores of others of the Tamil Diaspora were blacklisted by the previous Government for their pro-Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam activities in foreign capitals and for working against the Government of Sri Lanka.The Controller General of Immigration and Emigration could not be reached for a comment. Ceylon Today sent an electronic mail query to Prime Minister of the TGTE Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran yesterday, and is awaiting a response in this regard.