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India denies visa for US critic of Lankan govt.

September 17, 2009

India denies visa for US critic of Lankan govt.

The Indian visa of Dr Ellyn Sue Shander, a US-based humanitarian worker and a strong critic of the Sri Lankan government, was cancelled by the Indian mission at New York, her Indian host M. Natarajan alleged.The Stanford-based American woman activist was scheduled to tour India from September 13 and deliver talks on alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka.

The India mission in New York informed Ms Shander on Thursday about the cancellation of her visa.

Ms Shander has vowed to protest against the visa cancellation. Her Indian host M. Natarajan, Chennai-based political activist and husband of Ms Sasikala, close friend of AIADMK leader Ms Jayalalithaa, has accused both the Central and state governments of curbing free speech in the country. He has organised a series of meetings in Chennai, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Madurai and Delhi till Sept. 20 with Ms Shander as the main speaker.

Mr Natarajan said that the Chennai police had denied permission to conduct an indoor meeting with Ms Shander as the guest on September 16.

“We have moved the Madras High Court against denial of permission to conduct indoor meetings on the human rights violations in Sri Lanka. The writ petition would be heard on Monday,” he said.

Ms Shander was scheduled to address the Delhi Tamil Sangam in the national capital on September 20 along with MDMK general secretary Vaiko. She had a meeting scheduled at Bangalore Tamil Sangam on September 15.

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