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Sri Lanka ‘Hunting’ Refugees who Sheltered Snowden in Hong Kong


Sri Lankan asylum seekers living in Hong Kong fear they are being illegally pursued by police after sheltering the US whistleblower Edward Snowden in the city.

Criminal investigators from Sri Lanka are believed to have visited Hong Kong looking for them, their lawyer said.

The Sri Lankan police have denied the allegations.

Law enforcement authorities from mainland China or other countries have no jurisdiction in Hong Kong.

The lawyer representing the men, Robert Tibbo, said that at least two officers from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Sri Lanka police visited Hong Kong in December looking for them.

“We have become aware of Sri Lankan police taking active steps to locate my clients,” he said, adding: “They identified themselves to members of the Sri Lankan community in Hong Kong. They carried photographs and files.”

Sri Lankan police spokesman Priyantha Jayakodi said the allegation was “a complete lie”.

“We have not done any investigation in Hong Kong or any other country on any refugee case,” he told BBC Sinhala.

However Mr Tibbo said the evidence came from Sri Lankans living in Hong Kong who were approached on the street in late December by people who carried official identification.

His clients fed and housed Mr Snowden for two weeks in June 2013 when he fled the US after leaking thousands of documents belonging to the US National Security Agency (NSA).

The former IT contractor subsequently left Hong Kong for Moscow.

The names of the asylum seekers, Kellapatha Supun Thilina and Debagma Kankanalamage Ajith Pushpa Kumara, were revealed last year by Mr Tibbo, ahead of the September premiere of the film Snowden by the director Oliver Stone.

He said that it would have been difficult to keep their identities secret after the film’s release.

Mr Tibbo believes the Sri Lankan government began investigating the asylum seekers shortly afterwards. … (read more)

via BBC News

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