Sri Lankan officials have expelled 161 foreign Muslim preachers from the country for dodging via regulations.
The clerics, who are from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, the Maldivesand Arab nations, were forced to leave by 31st January.
Controller of Immigration and Emigration Chulananda Perera said the clerics had no right to preach inSri Lanka, as they were in the country on tourist visas.
He also said that his department received complaints from local Muslims who said that the clerics were not teaching a moderate form of Islam.
“Foreign clerics wishing to preach Islam inSri Lanka, must first apply for permission through the religious affairs authorities,” Perera told the AFP news agency.
“They have violated immigration laws. A tourist visa is to have a holiday or visit friends and family, and not to preach Islam.”
He also added that the clerics, who belong to the Tabligh Jamat group, arrived toSri Lankain small batches last December.
According to reports, the group were encouraging local Muslims to devote more time to their religion.