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HC dismisses PIL against Lankan envoy

Press Trust of India  |  Madurai 

Madras High bench here today dismissed a PIL petition seeking to declare Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Prasad Kariyawasam as a persona non grata (unwelcome person) for allegedly overstepping his limits as a foreign diplomat by issuing 'provocative' statements.

A Division bench comprising Justice M.Jeychandran and Justice S.Vaidhyanathan said the issue related to Foreign Affairs and policy, which were framed taking into account various issues including the security of the nation. Hence the could not interfere in foreign policy of the government.

Petitioner L Lena Kumar, a social activist based in Tirunelveli District, had alleged that Kariyawasam issued provocative statements in contravention of Article 9 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. His remarks were carried by a newspaper.

Kumar submitted that Kariyawasam had issued a statement on Mar 19, 2013 claiming that the Sinhalese were descendants of Odiyas and Bengalis and, therefore, they deserve Indian support.

Contending that this angered Tamils, the petitioner had claimed that the statement was made intending to "divide and bring fraction in on the basis of race, ethnicity and region".

He said he had submitted a representation to the Foreign Secretary and the Prime Minister on April 25 last to declare Kariyawasam a persona non grata, but he got no reply. Therefore, he filed the PIL.

First Published: Thu, November 28 2013. 20:02 IST