A wife of one on board says, er, actually…
A TAMIL Sri Lankan man granted asylum in Australia more than three years ago has been arrested in Malaysia along with three others on suspicion of trying to revive the rebel Tamil Tiger movement and is expected to be deported to Sri Lanka…
Meanwhile, Downunder, our assorted bleeding hearts keep howling and wingeing that we don’t bring more of them to Australia:
Sydney Morning HeraldÂ reporters areÂ livid that Tony Abbott is turning back two boats of Sri Lankans:Â
Last night I saw upon the sea,
A little boat that wasn’t there,
It wasn’t there again today,
Oh, how I wish it would go away*
All week, Scott Morrison had been wishing away the little boat from India. The Immigration Minister steadfastly refused to acknowledge its existence or that of its human cargo, 153 Tamil asylum seekers; or that of another boat carrying 50 Tamils, which had come from Sri Lanka. By week’s end, it seemed Morrison’s wish had come true.
In a high-stakes, high seas operation – which Morrison never confirmed, preferring to call it speculation – Australia set out to deliver these boat people back into the hands of Sri Lanka, the regime they had fled, a country the United Nations suspects of systematic abductions, torture, rape, extrajudicial killings and the “disappearing” of its citizens…
“Australia’s moral, ethical and legal compass has been lost at sea,” said Trevor Grant, from Australia’s Tamil Refugee Council…
The Abbott government has singled out Sri Lankans for special treatment, or mistreatment, if the conclusions of successive international reports on the country’s human rights abuses are accepted. Australia subjects only Sri Lankans to “enhanced”, or expedited, screening….
In the foreword to a 2014 report that documents the testimony of 40 Tamils who fled to Britain, South Africa’s Archbishop Desmond Tutu writes: “It shows how anyone remotely connected with the losing side in the civil war is being hunted down, tortured and raped, five years after the guns fell silent….”
Then after all that rage and hyping of horror, theÂ Sydney Morning HeraldÂ finally quotes a relative of one of the Tamils on board to reveal their real motive for sailing. And, good heavens, it has nothing to do with tales of torture:
“I thought maybe [the final destination of those on board] was to Italy, or France, or Tunisia,” said Ragajini, the 32-year-old wife of one of the men on the fishing trawler. “I did not know where he was going and he did not know, either.”
Ragajini, who has their two children with her, sobbed as she spoke from the Aliyar camp for Tamil refugees in the Coimbatore district in the far west of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.Â Her husband had crippling debts and had needed to escape to a country where he could earn money, she said.
The paper’s agenda is exposed – and exploded.
More context today:
A TAMIL Sri Lankan man granted asylum in Australia more than three years ago has been arrested in Malaysia along with three others on suspicion of trying to revive the rebel Tamil Tiger movementÂ and is expected to be deported to Sri Lanka…
The Weekend Australian has learned Mr Puvaneswaran was arrested early on Thursday by plain clothed members of the Malaysian Police Counter Terrorism Unit, who have accused him of being a former explosives expert for the now-vanquished Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eeelam (LTTE).
Malaysian police chief Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the arrests were made simultaneously at several locations around Kuala Lumpur and Maharashtra and that all four detainees were suspected of involvement in past terror attacks and plans to make Malaysia their base of operations.
“The first suspect is a card holder of High Commission of the United Nations for Refugees. He is said to be an expert in explosives. The second suspect was alleged to have been involved in the attempted murder of former president Chandirka Kumartunga,” Mr. Bakar said.
A third suspect is accused of having helped plan attacks on Sri Lankan consulates in India and the fourth of gathering intelligence for the group. Counterfeit passports and other documents had been confiscated, he added.
Puvaneswaran’s family say he’s innocent.
Greens leader Christine Milne is shockedÂ that the Abbott Government is sending back boat people to Sri Lanka, a country she portrays as a hell-hole:
“They have a shocking reputation for human rights,” she told a press conference this morning.
“It is now up to Prime Minister Abbott. Prime Minister tell Australians – are you going to send 153 people back to the people who have persecuted them?
“Is that what this nation has become under your leadership? Because I think the overwhelming majority of Australians will be horrified by this.
“Not only is it shocking and cruel for the people who have been persecuted and are being treated like this, but it is absolutely in breach of our obligations under the refugee convention.”
For now, there is a holiday in Sri Lanka and a rare chance to relax, possibly with her head in a history book, for the few short months that school is out.
A secret government survey reveals the majority of successful Tamil refugees travel back to Sri Lanka, raising questions about the legitimacy of their refugee status…
“I think it’s been fairly common knowledge, that after asylum seekers get status they go back,” said James Bissett a former head of Immigration Canada… A total of 50 people were surveyed, 31 of them had successfully obtained refugee status and 22 had returned to Sri Lanka. The CBSA refuses to release further information and will not say if an expanded study will be conducted to examine the full nature of the problem.
U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron has been misled about conditions for Tamils in the north of the country, cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan, a Tamil and national hero, said today.
The lives of people are improving, Muralitharan, who took 800 test wickets, told reporters at an event in Colombo with Cameron to promote reconciliation on the island. Cameron, who traveled to the north yesterday, confronted President Mahinda Rajapaksa last night about refugees…
“In wartime I went with the UN, I saw the place, how it was,” Muralitharan said. “Now I regularly go and I see the place and it is about a 1,000 percent improvement in facilities,” he said.
Five years after the end of the conflict in Sri Lanka, the majority of those who were IDPs [internally displaced persons] in the country have returned to their place of origin. However, an undetermined number of individuals remain in protracted displacement, unable to return home owing to housing, land and property issues…
In Sri Lanka, IDP and refugee returnees have difficulty in meeting their basic needs. The lack of a comprehensive national policy on land rights has had an adverse impact on sustainable return… The return of Sri Lankan refugees will continue, albeit at a slower pace…
UNHCR will also facilitate the voluntary repatriation of Sri Lankan refugees in cooperation with the Governments of India and Sri Lanka.
UNHCR now praises Sri Lanka for how it is resettling returning refugees and the displaced. In fact, refugees from other countries are fleeingÂ toÂ Sri Lanka:
In this global and regional context, Sri Lanka has made progress in reintegrating the returning Sri Lankan refugees and by being a host country to many of those that flee violence in the region. Since the conflict in Sri Lanka ended in May 2009, UNHCR has helped over 11,400 Sri Lankan refugees who have returned voluntarily to restart their lives. Similarly, though numbers remain low in comparison to other host countries in the region, Sri Lanka currently hosts 291 refugees and 1547 asylum seekers, all of whom are registered with UNHCR.
Sri Lankan government has made great strides in reintegrating 573,651 returning internally displaced persons since the end of civil conflict in 2009. UNHCR continues to assist the government in finding durable solutions for the remaining IDPs. Likewise, Sri Lanka has very effectively dealt with the issue of statelessness on its territory by passing legislation enabling Tamils of Indian Origin, who had been previously disenfranchised, and a population of ethnic Chinese, who had been in the country since the 1940s, to access citizenship. Sri Lanka is often cited as the best practice in the region in resolving issues of statelessness.
An insane anology, grossly offensive both to Sri Lanka and to the Jews and gypsies particularly who were the victims of Nazi genocide:
Former Liberal prime minister Malcolm Fraser, an opponent of Operation Sovereign Borders, went further still yesterday, tweeting thatÂ handing asylum-seekers over to Sri Lanka at sea was redolent of handing Jews to Nazis in the 1930s.