Visas not issued to two Chinese activists

New Delhi, April 28 (IANS) Following reports in the media that the government has revoked visas issued to two Chinese activists planning to come to India for a conference, it is reliably learnt that visas were in fact not at all issued to these two individuals.

Sources, citing the union home ministry, said on Thursday that visas were not issued to Li Jinghua and Ray Wong at all and hence the question of revocation did not arise.

Lu Jinghua, who had fled to the US after the Tiananmen Square crackdown, was reportedly stopped from boarding an Air India flight in New York.

According to Chinese media reports, the visa of Ray Wong, a Hong Kong-based student activist, was rejected by the Indian authorities.

Both Lu Jinghua and Ray Wong were supposed to attend the four-day World Uyghur Congress (WUC) that was supposed to start on Thursday in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh, but was cancelled earlier this week.

The conference was being organised by the US-based Initiatives in China and was supposed to see ethnic and religious communities in China as well as scholars and activists meet and openly discuss and exchange ideas, promote peaceful dialogue, and reinforce bonds between disparate communities.

“As far as Lu Jinghua is concerned, her documents were illegible and there was inconsistency with the purpose of her visit,” the sources said.

“Insofar as Ray Wong is concerned, there was data inconsistency in his documents.”

Hence, the sources said, visas were not issued to both these individuals.

“The question of revocation does not arise,” they added.

Earlier on Thursday, the government for the first time publicly commented on its revocation of visa to Germany-based dissident Chinese Uyghur activist Dolkun Isa, saying he “suppressed” facts while applying.

“Isa applied for a tourist visa under the electronic travel authorisation system. He was accordingly granted a visa,” external affairs ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said in his weekly media briefing here.

Swarup said that after obtaining the visa, Isa publicly stated that he was coming to India to attend a conference, “a fact that was suppressed in the visa form, something that a tourist visa does not permit”.

Isa too was supposed to attend the WUC in Dharamsala.

Many saw India’s revocation of the visa as bowing to Chinese pressure.

China also confirmed on Tuesday that it had approached the Indian side through diplomatic channels against Isa’s visit to Dharamsala for the World Uyghur Congress that was being organised by the US-based Initiatives for China.

Swarup said it also came to the notice of the Indian authorities that Isa was a subject of an Interpol Red Corner notice.

“It was in that situation that his visa was cancelled,” the external affairs ministry spokesman stated.

“I would caution against meanings being read either in the visa being given to Isa or its subsequent cancellation,” he added.



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