‘No reports of Rohingya Muslims fleeing to Sri Lanka’

Wasantha Senanayake

There are no reports of Rohingya Muslims fleeing to Sri Lanka in the wake of a mass exodus taking place in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, Foreign Affairs State Minister Wasantha Senanayake said.

Countering the claims, he pointed out it is highly unlikely that those refugees would come in large numbers to Sri Lanka.

“If such refugees land on Sri Lankan shores that would be in small numbers such as 20-25, and they will be registered under the UN Refugee Agency. Under humanitarian grounds we will provide them with basic needs such as food and health facilities. They will either be sent back to Myanmar as the situation improves or will send them to another country that matches with their way of living. We will not be keeping them for long,” he told the Daily News.

In the meantime, Immigration and Emigration Department Controller General M. N. Ranasinghe refuted the media reports that stated Sri Lanka has suspended granting visa to Myanmar nationals following the Rohingya crisis.

“There is no truth in such reports. Those in Myanmar can apply for visa online or by going to our embassy in Myanmar,” he said.

He stated that no Rohingya refugee has been reported in Sri Lankan shores since April, adding that fears of mass arrival of Rohingya Muslims are pointless.

In April 32 Rohingya Muslims landed on the shores of Point Pedro by boat and they were later handed over to the UNHCR.

(Source: Daily News – Disna Mudalige)