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UK Times : How I was barred from reporting Tamil Tiger conflict

April 18, 2009

The Sri Lankan immigration officer’s eyes narrowed as she swiped my passport at the international airport in Colombo last week. “Come this way,” she said, leading me into a side room, where a colleague typed my details into a computer.

A message flashed up on his screen: “DO NOT ALLOW TO ENTER THE COUNTRY.” With that, my passport was confiscated, I was escorted to a detention room, locked up for the night, and deported the next day. I can’t say that I was surprised, though it was my first deportation in 12 years of reporting from China, the former Soviet Union and South Asia.

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