Canada slams door on Sri Lanka Govt. officials

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird'sTwo senior Sri Lankan Government officials nominated to attend an international conference in Canada have been denied visas to enter that country. The two were to travel to Canada for the International Prison Conference from September 7 to 14, but could not make it due to the visa denial. The two Prisons Department officers who were denied visas are Industrial and Skills Development Commissioner Tissa Jayasinghe and Welikada Prison Superintendent Emil Ranjan, Prison Department spokesman H.M.P.N. Upuldeniya said.

Eighteen countries were attending the conference but Sri Lanka could not send a representative due to this issue, he said. An appeal was made after the first visa denial but that too was rejected, he said. The spokesman said he believed the reason for the denial was Canada’s perception that prison officials were involved in rights violations.
Last year the conference was held in India and one Sri Lankan representative attended.