04 Feb 2013

Human rights lawyers forced to ditch Sri Lanka visit

A group of leading international human rights lawyers has ditched a planned visit to Sri Lanka this week, blaming a last minute withdrawal of permission to enter the country.

Sri Lanka: high-profile delegation stymied

Sri Lanka: high-profile delegation stymied Natalia Davidovich/Shutterstock.com

The International Bar Association Human Rights Institute delegation was scheduled to travel to the country last Friday to assess issues around the rule of law and judicial independence. According to the London-based association, a visa had been issued to one member of the delegation on 18 January and was revoked about 10 days later, while approval to enter the country was suspended in the cases of other delegates on 29 and 30 January 2013.


The development comes amid widespread outrage in the country following the inauguration of the country's recently-appointed Chief Justice Mohan Peiris, after the impeachment of his predecessor Shirani Bandaranayake.
The association’s human rights group has expressed serious concern to the Sri Lankan High Commission in London regarding the revocation and suspension of entry approval for its high-level delegates.