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* Sri Lankan government clarifies visa issue of BBC correspondent
Mon, Apr 21, 2014, 12:02 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 21, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government dismissed "misleading "reports that the government did not extend BBC Sri Lanka correspondent Charles Havilland's Visa saying that the government, in fact, has extended his visa by three more months.

Clarifying the government's policy on visas for foreign correspondents the Secretary to the Media and Information Ministry Dr. Charitha Herath has told the state-run Daily News that foreign correspondents are accredited to this country only for five years.

Havilland has stayed in Sri Lanka since 2009 and has asked for an extension for another year.

Dr. Herath has said that there were certain misleading media reports which gave the impression that the government did not extend Haviland's visa. Instead of rejecting, the government has extended his visa by three months, he has said.

"'Therefore, it is wrong to say that we have denied his visa extension request," Herath said.

The Secretary earlier said in a Twitter message that Media Ministry has a policy on how long a foreign journalist can stay in the country and the policy is implemented by the External Affairs Ministry.

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