Govt will continue to oppose Greenpeace activist's "badmouthing" India

A Greenpeace activist, who was offloaded from a London-bound flight recently, will continue to face the ban on her foreign travel if she plans to "badmouth" India abroad by raising domestic issues.

PTI| Updated: Feb 11, 2015, 20:06 PM IST

New Delhi: A Greenpeace activist, who was offloaded from a London-bound flight recently, will continue to face the ban on her foreign travel if she plans to "badmouth" India abroad by raising domestic issues.

Priya Pillai, who was on January 11 offloaded from a flight to London at the IGI airport here, will not be allowed to make deposition before foreign governments and agencies as such presentations are often allegedly used against India in international trade negotiations, a Home Ministry official said.

"No one will be allowed to appear before foreign governments and agencies badmouthing India, which ultimately brings trouble for the government in international fora.

"However, Pillai will be allowed to travel abroad if she intends to go for other purposes like for tourism," a Home Ministry official said.

Explaining the reasons behind the decision to offload Pillai from flight, the official said she was allegedly supposed to make her presentation before some British MPs on India's environmental issues.

"Individual testimony has great value globally. Many foreign governments and agencies prepare report on such testimony and distribute them among European nations and share it even with the US and other developed countries. Very often, all such testimonies are used against India in international trade negotiations, which we cannot allow to continue," the official said.

Submission before British MPs is akin to deposition before the United Kingdom government. It is beyond someone's comprehension how can a foreign government solve India's domestic problems, the official said.

Pillai and other NGOs activists have enough avenues in India to raise their grievances. They can also approach courts if they find anything irregular in environmental issues. But testimony before foreign nations on India's domestic issues cannot be allowed, he said.