Non-diplomats get DPL passports

On a directive of the powers that be, the Immigration and Emigration Department had issued diplomatic passports to persons outside the Foreign Service.

The Sunday Island sought a clarification from authorities after seeing a veteran NGO representative presenting a diplomatic passport at the Bandaranaike International Airport recently.

Well informed sources said that diplomatic passports were issued with the approval of the government. Among the recipients were journalists, the sources said, adding that ministers, their wives, service chiefs, and Mahanayaka theros, have received this privilege.

The previous UNP government too had issued diplomatic passports to outsiders.

The issue of a diplomatic passport to Karuna who broke away from the LTTE captured the attention of the international wire services after his arrest in the UK for entering the country on an assumed identity.

The sources said that the issue and the cancellation of diplomatic passport was the prerogative of the administration of the day. (SF)

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