The statement by Senator Steve Fielding of last week about the Sri Lankan Tamil refugees stationed on Christmas Island
Posted on January 31st, 2010

SRI  LANKA  SUPPORT  GROUP –  Media Release 11   Sri Lanka Support Group, Canberra

Our attention has been drawn to the statement by Senator Steve Fielding of last week about the Sri Lankan Tamil refugees stationed on Christmas Island, where he stated the following:

 “Facilities on Christmas Island are pretty good and look more like a motel than a detention centre..

Detainees on the island get good accommodation, great food, phone and internet access and then within three months get a gold pass to live in Australia.”

It was better treatment than many Australians got from the Government.”

 We have continuously stated that the Sri Lankan Tamil asylum seekers to Australia are nothing else but economic migrants.

 Tamils are escaping Sri Lanka to countries such as Australia in order to enjoy a good life. The standard of living in Australia is much higher than in Sri Lanka.

 After Senator Fielding’s statement, it is likely that more boatloads of Tamils will arrive in Australia.

 There is a  flyer spreading around in Sri Lanka among the Tamils that  states “if you want a good life simply hop on to a boat to Australia, within a short time you will be  the owner of a nice house there.”

 There is no reason for the Tamils to flee Sri Lanka to Australia as refugees now. They are only economic migrants. Tamils are not fleeing persecution when they go to Australia,  as persecution of any nationality does not take place in the present day Sri Lanka. It is the Tamil Tigers who persecuted the people of Sri Lanka, including its own people, ie, fellow Tamils. Australian Journalists are encouraged to travel to Sri Lanka, so that they will  realise that all peoples are living in peace, unity and harmony.

 Few months ago, a parliamentary delegation from  Tamilnadu commended the Sri Lankan Government for the excellent manner in which the IDPs (Internally Displaced  Persons) were treated in the camps. Tamils are indigenous to Tamilnadu. In Tamil Nadu, there are 60 million Tamils living there. And the Tamilnadu government is ever willing to accept any Sri Lankan  Tamil who wants to live there (there are already 120,000 Sri Lankan Tamils living there). If the Sri Lankan Government is persecuting the Tamils as falsely alleged by the West, the Tamils should flee to Tamilnadu which is only 64 km away from Sri Lanka. Furthermore, if such persecution takes place Tamilnadu and the Indian Government would not simply sit and tolerate such persecution. They will even send their forces to Sri Lanka to rescue the Tamils. When it comes to the Tamils, Sri Lanka is constantly under pressure from India and is under their most watchful eye. In 1995, India by force dropped food parcels by air to Sri Lanka only to show their solidarity with the Sri Lankan Tamils living there.

 Former Tamil Tigers have been positively identified in some of the asylum seeker vessels that have reached Australia, including the “ƒ”¹…”Oceanic Viking’ (ASIO identified 4 Tamils as being of bad character on the Oceanic Viking). Of the 250 Tamils who are on a boat currently berthed in Merak, Indonesia, who are eagerly waiting to come to Australia, several Tamil Tigers (both male and female) have been positively identified.

To our knowledge, the success rate of the Sri Lankan Tamils obtaining refugee status in Australia is higher than 95%. The Sri Lankan Tamils know that within a few years of arriving in Australia, they will get their PR (permanent residence) and that they will get to own their beautiful home in Australia — something they might never have been able to achieve during their lifetime should they have stayed in Sri Lanka. The advantage for the Sri Lankan Tamils is that they have all the help and assistance available to them from the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora in Australia, which is highly organised. They also get assistance  from leftist Australian Political Parties (Australian Greens, Socialist Alliance etc.) and  much sympathy from the present Labor Government especially the  ACTU.

 To our knowledge, in the last 5 years not a single Sinhalese person has been granted asylum in Australia.

Sinhalese boat people have been very few, when found, they are always sent back to where they came from as immediately as possible. Some Sinhalese are known to have claimed refugee status by falsely claiming that they are Tamils! (again these numbers are very few) In the past 2 years alone it is estimated that more than 2,000 Tamils have arrived in Australia as boat people. Many more thousands are expected to arrive in boats in the coming months.

Apart from the Tamil boat people, thousands of more Tamils have been granted refugee status in Australia, especially those who have come on Visitor, Student and other Temporary Visas.

Some of these Tamils are not travelling to Australia from Sri Lanka but from other countries like Malaysia (eg. The boat currently berthed in Merak). As stated before there are 60 million Tamils living in Tamilnadu, India. When they come here, they can say they are Sri Lankan Tamils because they know the chance of obtaining refugee status becomes very high.

It is very easy for the Tamils to get refugee status here in Australia. There are syndicates of Tamil lawyers/migration agents and other professionals who will advise the Tamils  on how to put in the best possible refugee application. Tamil lawyers have obtained suitable precedents from the Australian Courts (including the High Court) and they also use aspects of the reports of Amnesty International, US State Department etc, to further the Tamil refugee claims. UNHCR merely rubber stamps each and every Tamil asylum seeker application, so it is very easy for the Tamils to obtain refugee status in Australia.

Sadly, in our refugee system in Australia, it has come to a situation that the best and most successful refugee applications have the most blatant lies. As stated before, there are people who coach and guide these people how best to give evidence at the Tribunal etc.””…” some even teach people how to cry before the Tribunal member. People are taking undue advantage of Australia’s most compassionate, humanitarian system to get refugee status. Members of the RRT (Refugee Review Tribunal) may have a vested interested in granting refugee status even to dubious refugee applicants, so that they may continue to keep their jobs. It is important to investigate the functions of the Refugee Review Tribunal.

For migration purposes, Australia only wants a police report to be provided by the person’s resident country.  Getting forged documents is easy from countries like Sri Lanka. People will always bribe government officials, etc. and get the report they want. Otherwise, they can change their names. If you change your name it will be especially difficult for the local police to find your whereabouts in Sri Lanka. In areas like Jaffna, where the Tamils ran a defacto state for several years, the local Sri Lankan police do not have records of the people in those areas as there had not been any police stations in the areas.

 There are thousands of people in the world who are trying to come to Australia legally. After paying their visa fees and lawyers fees they have to  wait in agony for several years. These are highly educated, highly skilled, English speaking, very good people. How would these people feel about the whole situation- should they also jump into a boat and come to Australia rather than waiting in agony for so many years.

The war in Sri Lanka finished more than 8 months ago. Those who were in camps have now been resettled. Those Tamils who are still in the camps have the full freedom of movement. They are living in conditions similar to that of the Christmas Island.

 By encouraging  Tamils only  to come to Australia illegally in boats, including former Tamil Tigers, the lives of the Sinhalese in Australia are kept in danger. Those who talk against the Tamil Tigers in Australia are taking a great risk in their own lives by coming out in the open to criticise them. There are Tamil terrorists in this country who have harmed innocent Sinhalese who live here. Then the Tamil Tigers are coming to Australia in boatloads. When the Tamil Tigers were defeated, some angry Tamils went on a rampage attacking innocent Sinhalese living in Australia. Acid was thrown at two innocent Sinhalese students in Sydney. Those two students had nothing to do with Tamils. They had only come back after a hard day’s work in the middle of night and went to sleep. They were attacked while they were in deep sleep. They had not even known these Tamil thugs before. This incident happened immediately after, the Tamil Tigers were militarily defeated. Within a few days of the Tiger defeat, five Sinhalese shops in Melbourne were attacked by Tamils. Because some Sinhalese people are talking against the Tamil Tigers and Tamil Diaspora it is possible that they could be harmed in Australia. There is no special protection afforded by the Australian Security to those who criticise the Tamil Tigers and Tamil Diaspora. On the other hand, there is emphasis only on the protection of Tamils who allegedly flee’ persecution’ in Sri Lanka. Australia should not be acting in a biased manner.

It is unfortunate the media and the politicians in Australia are mum about the Tamil violence in Australia.

We must not forget that Tamil Tigers were the most brutal terrorists that could ever be imagined. They  split open bellies of rural pregnant Sinhalese mothers, killed rural Sinhalese infants after grabbing them from feeding mothers and then smashing them down on the ground, killed Buddhist priests cold bloodedly and committed various other brutal and heinous crimes against the Sinhalese such as suicide bombings, rape, bus bombings, and the killing of thousands Sinhalese , Muslim and innocent Tamils by numerous other brutal ways. The Sri Lankan Government should be congratulated for  wiping out the world’s most deadly terrorist group from the earth, thereby protecting the nation from the Tamil Tiger terror, and also making the world a safer place. While destroying the brutal and venomous Tamil Tiger terror, the Government had done well to safeguard the Tamil civilians.

 Furthermore by encouraging the influx of Tamil boat people, Australia is damaging the current equilibrium of Sinhalese/Tamils in Australia which is about 70/30. Even today this is more than the ethnic equilibrium of the two ethnic communities in Sri Lanka.

 Sri Lanka Support Group, Canberra

2 Responses to “The statement by Senator Steve Fielding of last week about the Sri Lankan Tamil refugees stationed on Christmas Island”

  1. aravinda Says:

    There are 42 million refugees in the world. (UNHCR). Those who come by boat take away places of genuine refugees. The best solution is to educate people how to be economic migrants. It is easy to migrate to Australia. Over hundred thousand do it every year. All you need is an acceptable qualification and minimum amount of experience. One has to prove his or her worth. These boat people should be given proper information how to be a accepable migrant so that they can migrate in the right way. I am sure Australian embassy in Colombo can furnish these details.

  2. dingiri bandara Says:

    It is not only to Australia that these tamils come under pretext of been refugees, they are in a Canada, UK,France,
    Scandinavian countries, Germany,Switzerland and many other countries far away from Sri Lanka. If they were true refugees running away from the snhalese, the closest place for them is Tamil Nadu which is easily reached by boat.
    Some of these people were not running away from the sinhalese but from tamil terrorists. The safest areas for the tamils to live are the snhalese dominated areas which is evident from number of tamils living in Wellawatta in Clombo to name one place. The sinhalese never waged war aganst the tamils but the terrorists. Whenever there were incidents of race riots they were done by common criminals and looters.
    If the Tamil Nadu government is so concerned for the safety of the Sri Lankan Tamils why don’t they invite all of them to live in Tamil Nadu. It is diificult to understand why the true Sri Lankan tamils are more loyal to Tamil Nadu because according to some genetic findings( hope the results are not fabricated) the Sri Lankan tamils are more related to the snhalese than to Indian Tamils.

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