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Sri Lanka withdraws visas on arrival

Daily Mirror's cartoon Friday May 27, 2011

Sri Lanka on Thursday withdrew the on-arrival free visa facility for Indian tourists.

Although potential visitors from 78 other countries will also be impacted by the decision announced this week, the majority of tourists to the island are Indians. Over 120,000 visited last year, up from 85,000 in 2009.

See the Hindustan Times’ report here.

The move comes amid growing hostility to India, and Indians, amongst Sinhala society.

Amid barely-disguised resentment over India's refusal to support Sri Lanka against international demands for an investigation into war crimes in the final stages of the war.

There is also strident opposition being whipped up by the Colombo government against a long-dragging free trade agreement with India, the CEPA (Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement).

And there is Sinhala hostility to India's urging of a political accomodation of Tamil demands. See the Daily Mirror editorial today.

Also see this editorial last August by the popular English daily, the Daily Mirror, criticising the inflow of Indian workers and comparing this to the intervention by Indian Peacekeeping Force (IPKF) of the late eighties.

See our earlier posts:

India urgest rights probe (May 2011)

'India must lead international action' (April 2011)

Indian engines (April 2011)

IMF urges free trade deal with India (April 2011)

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