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Sri Lankan government reiterates it will not settle Rohingya refugees

Responding to hostility from the Sinhala Buddhist population to the possible settlement of Rohingya refugees into Sri Lanka, the government on Thursday reiterated once again that it would not be issuing any resident visas or granting citizenship to Rohingya refugees. 

"The government takes legal action against the foreigners arriving in the country or its waters in violation of Immigration and Emigration laws provided in Article 10 of the Immigration and Emigration Act No. 20 of 1948. According to paragraph 45 (1) punishments will be imposed on such offenders," the Ministry of Law and Order said in a statement, Colombo Page reported. 

"The Ministry therefore kindly requests every citizen to act wisely and decisively and not to be fooled by the misleading and false claims by various individuals and organizations threatening the harmony between ethnic and religious communities to achieve their narrow objectives."

The statement comes after mob led by Sinhala Buddhist monks stormed a UN safe house in Mount Lavinia on Tuesday where 31 refugees, mainly women and children, were sheltering. 

The refugees have been transferred to Boosa detention facility for their safety, the Sri Lankan police said. 

Yesterday, the Northern Provincial Council offered to provide shelter to the refugees. Tamil speaking people across the North-East have demonstrated in support of the Rohingya refugees, condemning the war crimes and genocide perpetrated by the Myanmese troops.