Following instructions from Controller-General of Immigration
Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) president Thol. Thirumavalavan and two of his associates were sent back from the Colombo airport on arrival from Chennai early on Tuesday.
They had come here to attend the funeral of Parvathy Ammal, mother of slain LTTE leader Prabhakaran.
Speaking over phone, Mr. Thirumavalavan said that soon after he landed, he and the two others were escorted to the office of the Chief Immigration Officer (CIO) at the airport.
He was told that he would not be allowed entry. Mr. Thirumavalavan asked if there was any criminal case against him in Sri Lanka and also informed the CIO that he was a Member of Parliament. “I asked them what the reason to send me back was. But there was no satisfactory reply,” he said.
The CIO maintained that he had instructions from the Controller-General of Immigration in this regard and that he was in no position to entertain any requests from the MP.
Mr. Thirumavalavan said that he requested to speak to the Controller-General, but this could not be arranged at that hour.
He said that in the register maintained at the CIO's office, his name figured in a no-entry list and had some comments which read: ‘Do not allow to enter; send back to India.'
Mr. Thirumavalavan said that he persisted in knowing the reason behind his ‘deportation' and maintained that he would not leave until given an explanation. There was no satisfactory response, he said and added that he left because he did not want a diplomatic stand-off over the issue. There was also no stamp on his passport, which said that he was deported or denied entry.
The MP said that his privileges were violated and that he would complain to the Lok Sabha Speaker, the Prime Minister and the President. This was an indication of how bad things were in the northern province, he said.
Officials here said that the MP did not follow the protocol ahead of his journey to Sri Lanka. When the MP was asked about the purpose of his visit he said that he wanted to go to the northern province. Such visits needed permission and a protocol had to be followed. The Immigration Officer-in-charge was not convinced by his answers and hence sent him back.
In Chennai Mr. Thirumavalavan and hundreds of cadres of Viduthalai Chiruthaikal Katchi were arrested when they organised a picketing in front of the Sri Lankan Deputy Commission office to highlight the denial of permission to him to pay homage to Parvathi Ammal.
VCK MLA Ravikumar was also arrested and was released in the evening.