A Tamil Nadu MP and his two associates were deported from Colombo international airport early Tuesday after they attempted to enter Sri Lanka to attend slain Tiger chief V Prabhakaran’s mother’s funeral in Jaffna.
President of Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (Panther’s Party) T. Thirumavalavan, known for pro-LTTE sentiments, had taken an early morning flight from Chennai. He landed at the Bandaranaike International Airport at around 2 in the morning.
Thirumavalavan was questioned at the immigration counter about his purpose of visit. Once the immigration officers learnt, he was politician and MP and had come to attend Prabhakaran’s mother, Parvathi Amma’s, funeral, he, along with his two party members, were ordered to board the next flight back to Chennai.
``As a politician, he didn’t follow protocol. We were not informed about his visit. Politicians generally enter through the VIP gate. Neither did the High Commission of India inform us about his visit,’’ WAC Perera, Controller General of Immigration and Emigration told Hindustan Times.
According to Perera, when immigration officers questioned him in detail, the Indian MP was unable to give satisfactory answers. Moreover, Thirumavalavan did not have the requisite clearance needed for foreigners to visit north Sri Lanka including Jaffna.
He and his two associates needed prior clearance from the Defence Minister to attend Parvathi Amma’s funeral on Tuesday.
``There was no other problem other than that proper protocol wasn’t maintained for his visit. Moreover, there were protests going on against Indian fishermen in Jaffna. So, our officers didn’t allow him,’’ Perera said.
Perera denied that the Indian MP’s name was already on a `restricted’ or `no entry’ list. ``There is no such thing. Why should we? My immigration officer interviewed him and found his answers unsatisfactory. So, he decided not to allow him to enter,’’ Perera said.