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ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Department of Immigration and Emigration has canceled the visa of Kayleigh Fraser, a Scotswoman who had documented the country’s anti-government protests on social media.

Immigration officials had approached Fraser at his home on August 2 and confiscated his passport.

“This is what will happen if you speak out against state violence in Sri Lanka,” Fraser wrote on Wednesday, August 10, posting a letter ordering him to leave the country by August 15.

“I’m proud to have been a part of that. I am proud to have met so many of you. I have… so many social enterprises I want to work on here and I know they will benefit so many people,” Fraser said on Instagram.

“Expelling me is a huge, huge mistake for this country. The love I have for her and her people seems like a threat to the current rulers. Does that feel right to you?”

Fraser said she was unprepared for the financial cost of flights and relocation, all of her funds were in Sri Lankan currency and banks did not allow overseas transactions.

Police spokesman Nihal Thalduwa told a private news agency that Fraser was sharing “negative content” about Sri Lanka through his social media.

“It is not right for a foreign national to be in our country and sharing such mass negative content. She is also not a media worker to cover protests and GotaGoGama,” he said .

Fraser spoke about state-sanctioned violence against protesters.

The news of Fraser’s deportation caused a small riot on social media, with many protesters expressing their support for the foreigner who documented and showed their support alongside them.

Seemingly indiscriminate arrests of protesters aided by the ongoing state of emergency have both angered and frightened Sri Lankan protesters, and many active protesters have gone into hiding to evade arrest.

Some protesters said they were “taking a break” or “distancing themselves” due to continued harassment.

However, authorities maintain that all arrests are in accordance with the law. The government reported retaliatory mob violence on May 9 and the forced occupation of government buildings by protesters on July 9.

“They call us terrorists for holding signs. It was such a peaceful protest, the only terrorism committed was that of the government against the people,” said one active protester, who preferred not to be named.

Fraser wrote that Sri Lankans should not forget that they took to the streets for system change.

“Live in such a way that your children will thank you for the world they inherit,” she said.

“It’s not over until it’s over. I have an incredible number of high level people fighting against this order for me to leave. (Colombo/Aug11/2022)


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