Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe came to the rescue of Parliamentarian Wimal Weerwansa, when the latter was stopped by CID officers at the Colombo International Airport after detecting that he was travelling on an invalid passport.
High drama prevailed at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) today when CID officers stopped National Freedom Front (NFF) leader Wimal Weerawansa MP from going abroad.
Weerawansa reportedly had behaved in an unruly manner first argiving with the immigration officers and later with the CID officers who had questioned him.
Meanwhile Weerawansa explaining matters said “I came to the BIA around 3.30 am today to leave on a tour to Italy, France and UK. When I produced my passport at the immigration desk an officer said it was not valid”
“I recently lost my passport and in place of that obtained a new one. Later I found my lost passport and had mistakenly sent it to stamp the visa. However in this period I also lost the passport I had newly obtained”
“The Immigration officers told me that if I can get a new passport I could travel with the Visa stamped in my old passport. So I went to Immigration and Emigration office in Colombo and obtained a new passport and came back to BIA with the old and the new one in possession”
“However by this time CID officers were present and they stopped and questioned me despite the fact I had acted in accordance with the Immigration officers advise”
Weerawansa went on to say that he was going to Europe on an invitation extended by several organizations to conduct lectures on the prevailing situation in Sri Lanka following the government’s agreement to implement proposal contained in the recent UNHRC resolution.
Weerawansa described the incident as a clear attempt to stop him from going abroad and relaying the truth to Sri Lankan’s domiciled in Europe about the current happenings in the country.
The National Freedom Front leader said that he had got reliable information that the government was trying to arrest him.
However, an Immigration officer said that Weerawansa had behaved in a wild manner using foul language while accusing the officers of being involved in a conspiracy to arrest him.
Leader of the House, Minister Lakshman Kirielle informed parliament that Weerawansa who was detained at the BIA by the CID has been allowed to leave the country after Prime Minister facilitated the legal clearance of Weerawansa’s passport.