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Two Economist issues held by Sri Lanka customs

Authorities did not give reasons for the hold on the issues which contain two stories on the country

Two recent issues of the UK-based Economist magazine have been withheld by Sri Lankan customs officials, reportedly because they contain articles about the island nation, The Sunday Times paper of the island nation has reported.

The customs authorities have not given any reasons for detaining copies of the international magazine, according to leading books and magazines distributor, Vijitha Yapa.

Yapa said the 22 and 29 May issues have not been released by customs. "Anyone who read the articles marking the anniversary of the defeat of terrorism in Sri Lanka, the delay in resettling internally displaced persons, and the country's devolution plans, will know that there's nothing new or sensational in them", he pointed out.

Foreign embassies and missions, overseas companies and hotels are the main subscribers to the Economist along with international airlines.

According to Yapa, who holds the exclusive rights to sell books and magazines in the transit lounge of Colombo's International Airport, customs officials have forwarded the magazines to the Information Department which has not yet given instructions on releasing the two issues.