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Maldivian fugitives living in Lanka without visa: Minister Shahid

Shahudha Mohamed
22 May 2019, MVT 22:34
Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid. PHOTO: HUSSAIN WAHEED/MIHAARU
Shahudha Mohamed
22 May 2019, MVT 22:34

Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid on Wednesday revealed that those living in Sri Lanka without visa include fugitives who left Maldives for medical treatment.

Speaking to the media, Minister Shahid stated that such Maldivians living without visa were currently contacting the High Commission of Maldives in Sri Lanka and providing the authorities with their name and details.

"However, they do not want to disclose their location", he said.

Those alleged to be on the list of fugitives residing in Sri Lanka include Abdulla Luthfee, who masterminded the November 3, 1998 attacks on Maldives. However, the minister did not confirm whether he was amongst those who contacted the embassy.

Moreover, the foreign minister noted that the issue of Maldivians residing in Lanka without proper documentation surfaced when foreigners were required to register at Lanka police stations following the Easter terror attacks on April 21.

Minister Shahid expressed sadness that Maldivian students were also living in Lanka without renewing their visas.

According to the minister, some Maldivians have been living with visas and passports that are five years past the expiration date.

He stated that the Maldivian government requested for visa renewal in such cases, after the authorities fined the individuals and referred to documentation provided by the High Commission. Minister Shahid expressed hopes that the Lankan authorities would permit this process.

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