Maldives lifts travel ban on Sri Lankan

By Easwaran Rutnam

The Maldives authorities have lifted a travel ban imposed on a Sri Lankan who had been detained earlier for taking photographs of a restricted zone.

The Sri Lankan, whose name is being withheld in his best interest, had been detained ahead of the just concluded Presidential election in the Maldives.

He was arrested by the Police for taking photographs of a building in a high security zone, not knowing it was prohibited.

After his arrest, the Sri Lankan had admitted to taking the photographs saying it was not with any malicious intent, and produced his camera to the authorities to delete the images.

The Police, however, refused to let him go, and produced him before a court which ordered that he be released.

However, the Police instead, confiscated his passport and placed him under virtual house arrest.

The Police went against a court order which made clear that there was no evidence that the Sri Lankan had an intention to carry out an attack in the Maldives.

The court order also noted that the Police had found that the Sri Lankan was not aware of any public signage that stated that photographs should not be taken of, what is known as, the ‘Green Zone’.

The Sri Lankan Ambassador to the Maldives Major General (Rtd) A.B. Thoradeniya had told The Sunday Morning in an article published last Sunday that the Sri Lankan was expected to be released later this week.

Similarly at least two other Sri Lankans have have also been detained in the Maldives.