Illegal migrants vs. refugees
Posted on November 2nd, 2012

Asada M Erpini 

At least Australia, rather belatedly though, seems to have realised that there is a difference between an illegal immigrant and a refugee. A report dated 02 November states that a group of 26 Sri Lankans have been sent back on Thursday. It is worth noting that the report continues, “Australia had returned 116 Sri Lankans home – voluntarily and involuntarily -since 13 August”.

 Peace-loving Sri Lankans who are based in Sri Lanka would wish that Canada, too, follows suit. But then, that expectation can only be far-fetched dream: Toronto alone has at least 250,000 Tamils who came from, or have connections through their families to, Sri Lanka, and there is the enviable bloc vote, that has stood in good stead for, and is waiting to be tapped by, the politically bankrupt who promote the cause of the alleged discrimination of Tamils in Sri Lanka. In fact, they make a living out of non-existent problems in faraway Sri Lanka that none of them has ever visited or intend to do so.

 A refugee according to the Oxford Dictionary is, “a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster”. Many of the Sri Lankans, mainly Tamils, who ran away from Sri Lanka during the recent past, were LTTE fighters or their supporters who had declared war against the sovereign nation of Sri Lanka. Naturally they would face legal action, and to avoid that, the easiest and the readily available avenue was to get out claiming persecution.

 The usual practice with any refugee anywhere is that he runs to the nearest place of safety, but for the large majority of the Tamils who left Sri Lanka carrying the refugee canard, the logical place “”…” Tamil Nadu – that existed a mere 30 Kilometres was not good enough. Tamil Nadu had nearly 70 million of their brethren, of the same language, faith, food habits, dress code, climate, and religion, but a key feature that dissuaded the majority of the “ƒ”¹…”refugees’ was that it was a state of India that fell far behind the social benefits and potential earnings beckoning them to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, Germany or South Africa. So, taking a boat ride to Newfoundland, lying more than 3000 kilometres away, was a risk worth taking for those who were able to find, by any means, the human traffickers’ fee of around $40,000 per head.

 It is human nature that people tend to go for greener pastures, abandoning their countries of origin. In fact, the typical present day Canadian, as well as the Australian or the New Zealander, is not the descendent of peoples who inhabited these vast lands for many millennia. But the sad state of affairs is that many of the affluent countries today, led by Australia, Canada, the USA and most European states, erect untold barriers to even a visitor from Sri Lanka who has the means and wishes to travel to these countries on genuine business or as a tourist. As opposed to that,  get in as an illegal immigrant decrying Sri Lanka, and there are literally thousands of their brethren well settled in the new found havens, human rights merchants, local politicians and religious leaders who are eager to take up the case of the illegal immigrant and fight on his behalf at every possible level. In fact, as long as the myth of discrimination of Tamils in Sri Lanka can be perpetuated, the better are the opportunities for the unscrupulous to venture out from Sri Lanka and their agents to entice the bogus refugee claimants.

 Sri Lanka should plan and implement a robust scheme to inform the rest world, especially the rich countries, that there is no institutionalised discrimination of the Tamils in the country. The Tamil community that opted to remain or invest in Sri Lanka has an enviable position: over 40% of the Colombo population is Tamil and some of the most lucrative business ventures are owned and managed by Tamils, with no hindrance from any other ethnic group, or, for that matter, the government. The problems that the law-abiding Tamils face are no different from those that the average Sinhala, Moor or Malay person, especially in the underprivileged regions of the country, faces. This information should be disseminated as widely as possible: Sri Lanka has kept quiet for too long.




3 Responses to “Illegal migrants vs. refugees”

  1. S de Silva Says:

    Well said Asada – you have accurately spelled out what our missions should do. But sadly they have utterly failed in that so far. That is why, despite the truth being on our side, we are getting hammered by the West. Most SL representatives in the past have been incompetent political appointments and only in the West for the money, send their children to private school and some even ‘seek asylum’ and avoid returning to SL at the end of their assignment! – S de Silva – London

  2. Christie Says:

    The Tamil refugee is a concoction made by the Third Eye of India as part of the Indian terrorist outfit in Ceylon Sri Lanka.

    It had two objectives. One was to divide the country and and set up two separate states within the island nation. One run by Tamils in conjuntion with with tamil Nadu and the other for the Sinhalese run by the Socialist JVP.

    The other was to send as many Indians (Tamils are Indian) to the west specially Canada and Australia.

    They failed the first but succeeded in the second.

  3. Fran Diaz Says:

    As far as Sri Lanka is concerned, this is the pattern, the Cycle of events, re illegal migrants, coming INTO Sri Lanka, not going out of Sri Lanka :

    Illegal Migrants from Tamil Nadu flee Tamil Nadu due to Caste/Poverty issues > came/come to Sri Lanka as illegal migrant Labor to lose Caste > Land Grabs in some form or the other, in Jaffna take over Tobacco land abandoned by Dutch, chase out Sinhala & Muslim folk and take their land ; Upcountry as Squatters (who is occupying 50,000 acres of Tea Res. Inst. land
    there ?). > Become the NEW VELLALAS of the Tamil community through land ownership > Also change religions to lose Caste > create a ruckus about Tamils being DISCRIMINATED IN SRI LANKA, both via the TNA, Tamil Nadu politicos, and in the west via ltte rump abroad plus parts of the Catholic church > Get unfair concessions everywhere for Tamils only ….. > bribe VIPs abroad & UNHRC to form a separate state for Tamils in Sri Lanka (Eelam).

    A Separate state (Eelam) will result in millions more oppressed Tamils coming to Lanka from Tamil Nadu > tying up even more Tamil Nadu (culture, religion, etc) >> re-instatement of Caste in Eelam !

    The Cycle that will build up shows that in the end Eelam is a self defeating goal for oppressed Tamils of Tamil Nadu. It is a bad fate awaiting the rest of all the others in Sri Lanka, not just Sinhala people.

    Some Solutions : Stop Illegal Migrants entering Sri Lanka, deport all illegal migrants. Government has to guard all state land properly against Squatters through Forest Rangers working together with the armed forces & the police. Remove the 13-A which is an artificial piece of law imposed under Duress during the Cold War times by India, detrimental to the integrity of the country. There are many more suggestions that have been written in by many people to these columns.

    The Law Enforcement authorities in the country must act fearlessly and guard the country.

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