Vaiko, HRW oppose UAE move to deport refugees to Lanka
Posted on April 7th, 2013

By Express News Service – CHENNAI / COLOMBO Courtesy the New Indian Express

MDMK general secretary Vaiko and New York-based Human Rights Watch made separate calls to assist 19 Tamils being readied to be deported to Colombo from the United Arab Emirates.

In a telephonic conversation, Vaiko reminded Manmohan Singh of his letter a few days ago on the issue of 19 Sri Lankans who were earlier given asylum by the UAE government but were now poised to be deported to Colombo. India should intervene in the matter and ensure that they are not sent to Sri Lanka, he urged.

TNProtest

Members of the Students’ Federation of India staging a silent protest for the cause of Lankan Tamils near Labour Statue on the Marina Beach on Saturday | N Vajiravelu/Express

A Colombo report said Human Rights Watch (HRW) has appealed to the UAE not to deport 19 Tamils who have been recognised as “refugees” by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The refugees have been told by the UAE authorities that they must leave the country by April 11.

If the recognised Tamil refugees are returned to face torture in Sri Lanka, it would signal a total disregard for their well-being and the most basic principle of international refugee and human rights law, Bill Frelick, Program Director at HRW, said on Saturday.

“Sri Lanka’s treatment of Tamils they deem politically suspect is dismal and under no circumstances should the UAE deport this group there,” the HRW’s website quoted Frelick as saying.

The 19 refugees, including six women, a 66-year-old lady and a four-year- old girl, were part of a group of 46 Lankan Tamil asylum seekers who fled Lanka by boat in October 2012, hoping to land in Australia.

After their boat ran into trouble, they were rescued by a Singaporean ship on October 14 and taken to Jebel Ali, south of Dubai, in the UAE.

In November, UNHCR recognised 39 of the 46 as refugees. But the UNHCR has not been able to secure third-country resettlement for 19 of them.

 

3 Responses to “Vaiko, HRW oppose UAE move to deport refugees to Lanka”

  1. Eusense Says:

    Some important questions surface from this report:
    1. Are these people political refugees or economic refugees? If they were real political refugees wouldn’t they escape to the nearest country (like India) rather than Australia?

    2. Are these the people who provide information regarding torture, rape, abuse etc. which HRW periodically publish as human right violation “reports” of Sri Lanka? Reading these reports and scrutinizing the methods of study indicate 95% of the data are collected from Tamils outside Sri Lanka.

  2. Voice123 Says:

    These games will backfire on India if they start to intervene. Sri Lanka should REFUSE to accept these kalathonis back and quietly encourage UAE, Australia, etc to send them to India, where they properly belong. Problem for UAE, Australia, Sri Lanka solved. Problem for peaceful Tamils also solved as they no longer would be harassed by these parasites. India will be exposed for the frauds that they are..

  3. A. Sooriarachi Says:

    This shows how hard certain individuals in organisations like the HRW, AI etc are willing to spread false propoganda favourable to Tamil Tigers and enable them to get refugee status with all their very generous benefits in affluent countries and not bother about real human rights.

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