Cosgrove Denied Entry to Sri Lanka – Updated Version

The Channel 4 executive and BBC Radio Scotland broadcaster, Stuart Cosgrove, has been denied entry to Sri Lanka, which was the subject of a critical documentary made by Channel 4.

Says a Channel 4 spokesperson quoted by STV, on its website, Cosgrove and his Sri Lanka-born wife were denied entry because of a passport technicality.

But in Sri Lanka itself it is also being claimed “Stuart Cosgrove and his wife Shirani Sabaratnam went on a 'blacklist', after Channel 4 News said the country's armed forces may have committed war crimes”.

Cosgrove is Director of Creative Diversity at Channel 4 and a presenter on the BBC Radio Scotland football show, Off the Ball.

At least one report has gone so far as to say Cosgrove was actually deported.

And Cosgrove told “I was permitted to enter Sr Lanka in the normal way. There was a problem with my wife's visa due to a new online computer system. She remained at airport immigration and I went on to our apartment. It was a national holiday and, since communication was difficult, immigration asked us to return to Dubai our port of embarkation and secure new visas. We were treated courteously throughout and there was no great drama.”

The Channel 4 spokesperson is quoted by STV as saying: “Stuart Cosgrove’s passport and visa were both valid but his passport was rejected on a technicality on arrival in Sri Lanka – as the middle name on his new passport did not match the one on his visa.

“He and his wife were not granted entry to the country and are now on their way back to the UK.”

Adds STV: “In June 2011, Channel 4 News broadcast a documentary entitled Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields [that] contained allegations that the military had intentionally targeted civilians, a contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention.”