TNA urges Australia not to send back 85 Tamils
[TamilNet, Thursday, 08 March 2007, 08:59 GMT]
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarians urged the Australian and Indonesian governments, in press communiqué released on Wednesday, not to send back the 85 Tamils intercepted by the Australian Navy in Australian Sea on 22 February citing that if they were sent back their lives will be in danger from the Sri Lankan armed forces and collaborating paramilitary groups.
The press communiqué is as follows:
The Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) is trying to get the 85 Tamils intercepted by the Australian Navy back to Sri Lanka. We fear if they were sent back according to the request, all of them would be either kidnapped and tortured or killed by the Sri Lankan armed forces and their allied paramilitary groups.
Rasenthiran Ilangchelvan of No 23, Kandy Road, Nunavil, Chavakachcheri, who fled Sri Lanka in 2002, applied for asylum in France in May 2002 and was sent back to Sri Lanka on 31.08.2005, after his request was turned down. On 28.02.2007, some Sri Lanka army soldiers and EPDP paramilitary members went to his house around 5:30 a.m. and shot him dead.
As such, we request both Australian and Indonesian governments not send back the 85 Tamils to Sri Lanka.
The Sri Lankan armed forces and paramilitaries are involved in the human rights violations against the Tamil people. The reintroduced Emergency Regulations and the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) give them excessive powers to arrest the Tamil people illegally, torture them, abduct them, kill them and rape the women.
The government systematically killed journalists, Human Rights Commission officials, human rights activists and Parliamentarians who voice against these atrocities. 1527 Tamils were killed and 697 disappeared in five years from 22.02.2002 to 28.02.2007 even though the Cease Fire Agreement has been in force. In addition, hundred others are arrested and being imprisoned. In February 2007 alone, 66 people were killed and 62 others were abducted.
The International Juries Association accused that the PTA paves way for many human rights violations. Meanwhile, the International Legal Experts Association told that the GoSL is involved in human rights violations using the PTA.
Persons arrested under PTA have little chance for obtaining legal support. As a result, they are being kept in prisons for many months without either produced in the courts or provide with charge sheets. If the 85 Tamils were sent back in this context, they would be definitely affected.