28 September, 2020

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Halt Illegal Deportations And Arrests Asylum Seekers From SL: Civil Society

Sri Lankan citizens and civil society organisations have expressed alarm at the recent arrests and deportations of asylum seekers from Sri Lanka, pointing out they are in blatant violations of customary international law.

In a joint statement issued by over 80 signatories, it has been pointed out that the deportations are in breach of customary international law that requires all countries to abide by the principles of ‘non-refoulement (no forced returns ) to countries where people face imminent risks. It also points out the deportations are in violation of Article three of the Convention against Torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, that has been ratified by the Sri Lankan government.

Hina Milwood, 28, a Pakistani Christian refugee in Sri Lanka attends Mass with other refugees in Negombo town in January. (Photo courtesy: Jimmy Domingo | ucanews.com )

Hina Milwood, 28, a Pakistani Christian refugee in Sri Lanka attends Mass with other refugees in Negombo town in January. (Photo courtesy: Jimmy Domingo | ucanews.com )

The signatories have pointed out that against a backdrop where it has been noted by the UNHCR that Ahmadiyya and Shia Muslims and Christians in Pakistan may need international protection and require particularly careful examination of their asylum claims, the claims made by the MInistry of External Affairs to justify the decision to deport the asylum seekers is unacceptable.

They point out the MEA is making unfounded claims to justify the decision to deport the asylum seekers claiming they have fallen victim to commercially driven human trafficking networks.

“The only way to find out who is genuinely fleeing persecution is a comprehensive case by case assessment by the nationally and internationally recognised agency for this – the UNHCR and not any Sri Lankan government agency,” the concerned civil society representatives have stated while pointing out the asylum seekers have been deprived of the right to this due process under international customary law.

They have furthermore asserted that although in practise the MEA claims they have been ‘encouraging the return of asylum seekers, in practise they have been forcibly deported as confirmed by the UNHCR that has confirmed that some of the latest deportees had thier passports and asylum seeker certificates seized last week and told to go to the Colombo airport where they were placed on flights to Pakistan against their will.

Moreover, it has been pointed out that the laws under which the arrests and detentions were made is not clear:

– the victims and their families have not been informed clear and specific reasons for their arrests

– no arrest receipts have been provided

– arrests have not been produced before a competent court and access to lawyers have been denied.

– those arrested being detained at Boossa detention facility run by the Terrorist Investigation Department (TID) indicates that the arrests have been made under the Prevention of Terrorism Act indications (if they were arrested under immigration laws, they should have been detained in the Immigration detention facility in Mirihana)

Concerns have also been expressed at the reports of the asylum seekers being subjected to torture, cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment that is in violation of Article 11 of the Sri Lankan constitution – rights that have been made available to all people in Sri Lanka irrespective of their nationality and immigration status.

Meanwhile, the group has also welcomed the interim order issued by the Appeal Courts on August 15 prohibiting deportations of all refugees and asylum seekers registered with the UNHCR until August 29th when the case will be taken up again.

They have also called upon the UNHCR to:

-monitor and report on the implementation of the above Court order and assist the Courts when the case is taken up in any way possible such as through expert input.

– take a more proactive role in responding to this crisis situation such as by opening a 24-hour emergency hotline in Sri Lanka and countries where asylum seekers have been deported.

– monitor the situation of those who have been deported

– initiate a fast track process to expedite the processing of pending asylum claims and appeals and identify and engage with potential countries that may offer fast track resettlement to those recognised as refugees.

“We call on the government to strictly adhere to the interim court order and refrain from intimidating and harassing the petitioner, asylum seekers and those assisting them,” the statement reads while calling upon the government to halt deportations and arrests of asylum seekers and adopt policies and practices that will offer them the protection and support that they deserve.

According to UN statistics some 108 Pakistanis have been deported as of August 14 and the UNHCR states the deportations included 11 women and eight children families have been separated including a pregnant woman who had been left behind after the husband was deported.

Read the full statement here

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Latest comments

  • 5
    4

    Why we have to put up with illegal immigrants?

    Already SL is overpopulated and these people have their own countries.

    • 5
      5

      dumb clown.. Refugees and Asylees are NOT illegal immigrants.. they go to countries with passports and visas then claim refuge or Asylum depending on their plight (Most Sri-Lankans go illegally using fake passports doctored Id’s and Bc’s and YET are not deported. I am not refering to Tamils but to the sinhalese too who go to UK USA CANADA Australia and many other countries- over stay the visas and also claim bogus refugee and asylum cases)If they have a case in hand of oppression by their own govt.. THEY HAVE A RIGHT TO ASK FOR ASYLUM AND REFUGE AS PER UN LAWS. Sri-Lanka is a signatory to such a thing called Refugee Convetion of 1951 and has to abide bby the laws that govern that convention.

      Did u forget that GOAT-A was once a refugee in USA ?

      • 0
        2

        Green card you idiot. He got a green card as all the Army Officers with proper qualifications were given. The US plans back fired in fact and they still regret giving Islamists green cards as they do regret not really finding out about the Syrian Oppositions.

        • 3
          2

          Get ur facts right biggest IDIOT… Goat-a claimed asylum/refugee in California, USA after his narrow escape at the PITTALA Junction Bombing while MR was the Prime Minister, who helped GOAT-A to get a US visa. That’s how he obtained his green card (once an asylum case is ACCEPTED the claimant is eligible to apply for a green card after 1 year) which finally paved the way for his citizenship… 5 years after having the green card..

          FYI,, HE ACQUIRED his citizenship and he is NOT a NATIVE citizen, as in born in USA.. SO his CITIZENSHIP CAN BE REVOKED… (^-^)

  • 2
    5

    Fathima Fukushima aka Lorenzo, Leela, et al.

    “Why we have to put up with illegal immigrants? Already SL is overpopulated and these people have their own countries.”

    Good Question. Yes.

    The land of Native Veddah, is too crowded with Paras, especially with Para-Sinhala “Buddhist” Monks going berserk and commuting crimes. based on lies and imaginations on Dipawansa and Mahawansa,

    The current refugees are the latest paras.

    The True Natives were the Native Veddah, who walked and claimed the land 30,000 years ago.

    The Vedda Tribe

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f89NuukY32U

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HeFCuZwexRw

    All the Subsequent arrivals from South India and other parts of India, are Illegals, ans are Oara. Para-Sinhala, Para-Tamils, Para-Muslims, para-Portuguese, Para-Dutch. Para-English, para-Estate Tamils and others.

    A Request is made for ALL Paras, to get back to India, South Indian and East India.

    Please go along with the refugees in an orderly manner.

    The land of Native Veddah, is too crowded with Paras, especially with Para-Sinhala “Buddhist” Monks going berserk.

    .

    • 2
      5

      Para veddah. Strangely you can read and write English. So you did profit from Colonial schools in Mahiyangana?
      You should be attacking the “suddhas” for what they made you do. The Sinhele people did not murder natives like the British, French Spanish and Dutch did. You are probably a mixed race Portuguese half caste.

      • 7
        2

        sarongjohnny

        Would you like to review your comment above?

      • 2
        1

        sarongjohnny

        “Para veddah. Strangely you can read and write English. So you did profit from Colonial schools in Mahiyangana?”

        The Veddah need to learn the Para-language and Habits in order to communicate with the Paras. The Lanka of Native Veddah Aethho is not restricted to Mahiyanganna. It is the whole Land, the land of native Veddah.

        The Vedda Tribe
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f89NuukY32U

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HeFCuZwexRw

        Veddah had to learn Para-Sinhala,(Para-Sinhalayo) Para-Tamils (Para-Demalo), Para-Muslims Para-Portuguese Para-Dutch, Para-English and the para Beliefs like Para-Buddhism. Para-Hinduism. Para-Islam, Para-Catholicism, and Para-Christianity the different flavors. in order to communicate with the Paras.

  • 4
    6

    CT readers

    “Sri Lankan citizens and civil society organisations have expressed alarm at the recent arrests and deportations of asylum seekers from Sri Lanka, pointing out they are in blatant violations of customary international law.”

    Though I don’t agree with the idea of deporting Asylum Seekers from my land, I will not shed tears if descendants (20 Million) of Kallthonies are deported back to their ancestral land. This could be the necessary and sufficient condition for this island to establish peace in the long term.

    In the meantime let the new arrivals stay, work, and prosper. I doubt Sinhala/Buddhists are agreeable to an open multicultural country. They are bent on building a Sinahala/Buddhist ghetto in the Indian ocean, while a substantial percentage of them want to live and work in foreign countries.

    Banda where are you?

    Can you stop this island being demographically changed by new arrivals and the old ones? If you can’t send in BBS.

    Sinhala/Buddhists need you.

    • 2
      7

      Christians will be better off in a Christian country like UK or USA or even Australia. They sent no relief to the poor Gazans but rushed to aid the Christians in Iraq. Sri Lanka has enough privileged Christians because of the European beliefs.

      • 6
        3

        sarongjohnny

        Again would you like to review your comment above?

      • 1
        1

        Sarema_nathi_johna pattole,

        Gonno, your silence proves that you are typically like the Caribbean Cheaper singing Jajaja oh my god after having swallowed the `Arawak`.
        Equal Rights and Justice.!
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SN7Pko_jCM

      • 3
        1

        sarongjohnny and Avtars,

        “Christians will be better off in a Christian country like UK or USA or even Australia.”

        Para-Sinhala “Buddhists” will be better off in a “Buddhist” country like “India” or Burma or Thailand or even Japan and leave the Land of Native Veddah alone. In India they can say pirith all day long, take pan-sil all day long and venerate Monks all day long like the good old Buddha days, 500 BC.

        Let the Native Veddah live in peace WITHOUT the Paras and Para-Religions.

  • 5
    3

    Asylum law of the west under review – It is certain to go into the annalas of bad history because it is impossible.

    Western Money did not go anywhere but into the hands of a few just after the `banksters` Lehman Brothers collapse.

    Fascism is on the rise in the west `He who has begun has the work half done`.

    Who needs asylum where there has always been immigration as per the need of both??
    [divide et impera]
    Divide and rule or
    Divide and conquer or
    Divide in order to conquer

  • 2
    6

    Pakistan does have a problem with the Taliban and if these people really need a place to hide then Iran is the best place for Shias. Saudi Arabia for the Wahhabis and The new Caliphate in Iraq for the Sunnis. The Tamils should chose South India because there is where they will get most of the support and where they can share a toilet among 2000 people. Way to go Gota. Give them free passage. We will be rid of a problem.

    • 4
      2

      sarongjohnny

      Once again would you like to examine your head and your heart?

  • 1
    0

    Pakistani immigrants.

    This looks like a preplanned migration.

    • 0
      0

      Jim softy and Avtars,

      “Pakistani immigrants. This looks like a preplanned migration. “

      Yes. Para-Migration.

      Prakrit speaking immigrants from Kalinga. This looks like a preplanned migration. This also includes the South Indians, aka Para-Sinhala and Para-Tamils.

  • 0
    0

    Sri Lankan Govt.must respect and honor that Human Rights of asylum seeks in Sri lanka. It does matter SL under the UN Refugee convention 1951, protocol in 1967 or NOT that, our responsibility of Democratic nation must protected rights of asylum seeks, that what ever the country or origin religion race they belongs.

    New situation has arise of refugees in many nations that has be urgently address by Sri lakan authorities without by pass rights of Refugees.

    I do not agreed asylum seeks deport by Sri lankn authorities.
    We should immediately stop deportation and provide safe place live in Our island in peacefully. That is also part of our acceptant democratic norms.

    • 1
      0

      Copy the brief-less western legal fraternity.!

      Running the billions of tax payers money is the norm- reality.

      It’s a mess the nation should not dip into.

      What you cannot afford for self how come you contemplate to offer??
      housing, integration, work, schools, – remember these would be monitored (internationally) then the head of fascism would rise as in the west.

      Pick the best like the cocky west and leave the rest for all have hopes.!

  • 0
    0

    send these garbage back to where it belongs

    • 1
      0

      ela kolla

      “send these garbage back to where it belongs”

      It is very good idea.

      Where do you want us to send you?

      You have plenty of choices, Erriveerar pattinam in the South or Bihar in the north.

      • 0
        1

        [Edited out]

        • 2
          0

          ela kolla

          “[Edited out]”

          Alright, we will send you to Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Gaza, …. Antarctica. The choice is yours.

      • 0
        0

        This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

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