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Tamils say lives at risk if sent home
March 13, 2010, 1:34 pm
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Tamils say lives at risk if sent home

Updated Sat Mar 13, 2010 9:37am AEDT

Sri Lankan civilians escape the conflict zone

Three Tamils were recently sent home and another 38 may be returned shortly (AFP: Sri Lankan Army)

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Tamil groups say the Australian Government is putting lives at risk by starting to send some asylum seekers back to Sri Lanka.

The Government says three Tamils were recently sent home and another 38 may be returned shortly as the situation improves following the end of the civil war last year.

The decision has been made ahead of new refugee guidelines from the United Nations, which are expected to reflect the improvements in Sri Lanka.

But Dr Victor Rajakulendran from the Australasian Federation of Tamil Associations says the Tamils are likely to be arrested as soon as they return home.

“Even the opposition candidate Sarath Fonseka is under arrest and under investigation and all kinds of things are happening even for the powerful people like that,” he said.

“If that is the case, what would happen to an ordinary Tamil that is a suspected ex-LTTE [Tamil Tiger]? Their life is in danger.”

He says the Government is putting lives at risk by refusing to wait for the new UN guidelines.

“[The] Foreign Minister would say always that ‘We have our own advice, our High Commissioner there, she gets all the information and we base our assessments on those information’,” he said.

“But are they correct? Are they free to move around and get all this information which we get from relatives and other people?

“They should be calling us and talking to us too, but they never do that.”

Tags: community-and-society, immigration, world-politics, unrest-conflict-and-war, refugees, australia, sri-lanka

First posted Sat Mar 13, 2010 8:43am AEDT

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