Commenting on the recent controversy regarding a Sri Lankan diplomat threatening to ban Callum Macrae, the director of the documentary 'No Fire Zone' from attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka, the country's Media Minister, Keheliya Rambukwella, accused Macrae of funding his journalism by the Tamil diaspora.
Speaking to Ceylon Today, Rambukwella said:
“On the pretext of being a press personnel, Macrae is doing his rounds funded by his well-wishers – the Tamil Diaspora.”
“It is too early to predict about Macrae’s visit. We are highly concerned about the activities that are going on overseas, especially by the Diaspora."
“It is little too premature to talk about Macrae’s visa and we will have to wait to see how it is handled by the Ministry of External Affairs,”
Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan diplomat that sparked the debate after he tweeted calling Macrae a terrorist and proclaimed he would personally ensure Macrae would not receive a visa to attend CHOGM, Bandula Jayasekara - Sri Lanka's Consul General to New South Wales in Australia - said:
"Yes, I have been tweeting about Macrae’s LTTE propaganda. He is a paid LTTE mercenary and as a citizen of Sri Lanka, I will not allow him to come to Sri Lanka on any ground, although it is the Commonwealth Secretariat that decides who should come for CHOGM.
“I stand by all what I tweeted about Macrae. He is a ‘chicken’ and that is why he is running around telling about my tweets. He was simply trouble at the Geneva session, arguing with Sri Lankan journalists and a person in his right mind will not allow him to come to Sri Lanka nor give him any publicity.”
“Though Macrae claims he screened his documentary in Parliaments in Malaysia and in the UK and many other countries, you should know that that is just in small chambers in Parliament and no one is keen to go to those little chambers or rooms to view his propaganda film. As he is an anti-Sri Lankan, he should not be invited in Sri Lanka, that is my personal view.”