UK deports another group of Lankans
The United Kingdom yesterday deported another group of 60 Sri Lankan
asylum seekers and visa over stayers.
Those sent back include failed asylum seekers and visa over stayers,
BBC reported quoting UK officials.
An asylum seeker deported from Britain
on arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport
yesterday. Picture by Kumarasiri Prasad
UK authorities deported them amidst efforts by pro - LTTE elements in
Britain to prevent British authorities from carrying out the deportation
of Sri Lankans who have failed to qualify for asylum.
The British Foreign Office last March told BBC that they send people
back to Sri Lanka only when the British government and the courts are
satisfied that an individual does not need protection.
The Foreign Office has said there had been no substantiated
allegations of mistreatment of those returned from the UK.Yesterday’s
flight is the fifth such flight of deportees been sent from the UK.
Meanwhile there were reports of Sri Lankan asylum seekers returning
back home willingly from both Australia and India.Around 14 Sri Lankan
asylum seekers on Christmas Island have opted to return home, foreign
media reported. Meanwhile another group consisting of 70 people who had
been staying in Camps in South India returned to Sri Lanka on Tuesday.
Special Services are being carried out by the Deputy High
Commissioners office in Chennai to facilitate the return of Sri Lankan’s
living in refugee camps in Tamil Nadu. They have organized special
programmes on orientation and issuance of travel and identity documents
to help the smooth return of those who want to go back to Sri Lanka. The
UNHCR to has opened a special desk at the Airport and also is offering
financial help to the returnees from India.
One refugee who returned from India on Tuesday told ‘Daily News’ that
seven months after his marriage he had fled to India. “Now I have two
children aged 14 and 7. Now Sri Lanka is a war free country and there is
protection for all without discrimination” he added.
The Government earlier called for foreign countries to deport asylum
seekers. Most of those who resort to illegal migration are doing so for
economic purposes, experts have pointed out. Meanwhile a couple of days
back External Affairs Ministry Secretary Karunatilaka Amunugama told
‘Daily News’ that the Australian Government has proposed establishing a
committee comprising Sri Lankan and Australian government officials to
look into the illegal migrants’ issue.
Secretary Amunugama on the occasion said that the activity is carried
out by an organised ring of human smugglers. “They lure people into
their multi-million rupee people - smuggling racket by promising them a
better life in other countries. The smuggling of migrants is a global
concern,” he said.
“The victims of these clandestine operations undergo unimaginable
hardships in their harsh search for a better life,” Amunugama added.
The Navy has arrested nearly 2,000 Sri Lankans, including women and
children who attempted to illegally migrate to Australia on multi-day
fishing boats from January to September this year.