Stop sending Tamil refugees back to Sri lanka
Last year, a small ship with 46 Tamils fled from Sri lanka and was on voyage towards Australia. There was an explosion in the ship and it was about to sink with all its passengers when it was spotted from another ship which was on its way to Dubai. The Tamils were rescued and were dropped off in Dubai.
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees in Dubai has accepted 39 Tamil refugees out of the 46. Out of 39, 12 were sent to USA and 8 were sent to Sweden. However, no decision was made on the other 19 for months. Later, there were about to be sent back to Sri lanka but the decision was put on hold after immense pressure from Human right organizations.
Later 5 out of the 19 were sent to USA, one was sent to Sweden and another was sent to Finland.
The other 12 were subjected to further investigation and were determined to be legitimate Tamil refugees who's lives are endangered in Sri lanka.
However, the UN HCR executive (who had identified herself as Nashreen) informed on 27-08-2013, that no country would accept Sri lankan refugees and hence the United Nations had decided to stop all further activities regarding the relocation of the same. The executive further suggested that the refugees go back to Sri lanka. The UN personnel are planned to return in a week where they are expected to make moves to send the refugees back to Sri lanka, ignoring the fact that their lives will be in danger.
This are the details for the Refugees:
1) Ramanan Gunaseelan - UNHCR REF. NO : 894-12C00053
2) Meera Ramanan
3) Tharanika Ramanan
4) Umakesan Varatharaja - UNHCR REF. NO: 894-12C00058
5) Arulvasan Theivendrampillai
6) Jude kanisiyas Lorans rejy - UNHCR REF. NO: 894-12C00061
7) Sakthivel Paramasivam - UNHCR REF. NO: 894-12C00060
8) Arulrexon Amirthanathan - UNHCR REF. NO: 894-12C00056
9) Kandeepan Nadarasa
10) Lokiny Rathymohan - UNHCR REF. NO:894-12C00082
There have been many Tamils who have fled Sri lanka to many countries in fear of their lives after the deadly war between the government and Tamil Tigers in 2009 which claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Tamil civilians. United Nations three members panel has indicated that there were incidents of war crime, large scale human rights violations. There is also a wide spread accusations of genocide, since the victims were all from Tamil ethnicity.
The UN's human rights council passed a resolution highly critical of Sri Lanka's record, encouraging the country to conduct an independent and credible investigation into alleged war crimes with a previous UN investigation.
World Bank population data from Sri Lanka indicates up to a hundred thousand Tamils are unaccounted for after the war, raising questions about whether they could be dead.
Even after the end of war there have been claims that the Tamil rebels who have been taken as prisoners have been kept in abominable conditions and deprived of basic human rights.
This news was on air on 26th April 2013. This report sheds light on the real situation on Sri lanka in terms of torture and government sanctioned abuses of Media personnel. At the time period, Canada's Prime minister Stephen Harper had informed that Canada would boycott the Commonwealth meeting if the situation doesn't improve. Britain's Foreign affairs select Committee has recommended that British Prime Minister James Cameron boycott the Commonwealth meeting as well. In addition, former Australian Prime minister also has asked the Australian government not to participate. Now, we know that not just the Western (so-called colonial) governments that are accusing Sri lanka of human right violations, but there are other countries as well.
One case study documents the treatment of Ganesan Nimalaruban, an aspiring post office worker who was arrested in 2009 and subjected to three days of torture that left him with heart and respiratory problems, the report says. He later died in custody.
Nimalaruban's family said their 28-year-old son was beaten regularly in prison and required frequent visits to hospital where, shackled on the floor and denied food and water, he also contracted dengue fever. Authorities claim Nimalaruban suffered a fatal heart attack.
Another case study describes the ordeal of an artist, identified as MM, who was arrested in 2007. The 28-year-old, who has suffered from polio since childhood, claims he was forced after days of torture into signing a false confession stating he had assisted Tamil Tiger rebels.
He said he had his toenails extracted and was then electrocuted, rendering him unconscious for three days. Now convicted, he has been sent to prison in the central city of Kandy, far from his home in the north. He has barely been permitted contact with his wife or son, who was born just months after his arrest.
The various methods of Sri Lankan torture as applied to Tamils in custody of the majority-Sinhala security establishment range from electrocution, asphyxiation by petrol fumes, to sodomy, and have been developed across multiple Presidential administrations, thereby satisfying the criteria for individual and state criminal responsibility.
This is an important reminder that not only were atrocities and war crimes committed on a large scale during the war, but torture, arbitrary imprisonment and other human rights abuses continue on a large scale in Sri Lanka to this very day.
Many Tamils are still seeking answers about their relatives who went missing in the war.
This is particularly important in the light of continuing attempts by your government to deport Tamil asylum seekers, despite clear evidence – to which this report contributes – that those, such as returnees, who are identified by the regime as troublemakers are under considerable risk of falling victim to the worst kinds of rights violations: torture, murder, rape, and arbitrary detention.
Just few days back on the 13th of April, An armed squad, allegedly operated by the Sri Lankan military intelligence, stormed the main office of the Uthayan Tamil daily in the city of Jaffna in the early hours of Saturday, setting ablaze the press machines and the copies of printed papers that were ready for distribution. The squad chased media workers away at gun point and poured petrol on the papers and machinery in the fourth attack to be reported on the popular Tamil daily since January this year. Reports continue of extrajudicial killings, disappearances and threats to human rights defenders and journalists in Sri Lanka.
If journalists and media workers are under immense danger of being kidnapped, tortured and even killed by the genocidal Sinhalese regime, imagine the situation of an ordinary Tamil refugee who is deported back to Sri lanka.
We would like to bring to your attention that, Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka (JDS), Human Rights Watch (HRW) and several other journalists have recently on the offices of UNHCR to prevent the deportation of the refugees to Sri Lanka.
Hence, we are requesting the United Nations not to make moves to send the refugees to Sri lanka. Their basic right to live, would be in jeopardy if they go back to Sri lanka. If the refugees are offered an environment where their lives are secure they can start building thier lives back together. They have already gone thorugh a lot and being sent back to Sri lanka is the worst thing that could ever happen to them.
- United Nations High Commission for Refugees, UAE
- United Nations High Commission for Human Rights
- Amnesty International
Stop sending Tamil refugees back to Sri lanka
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