Sri Lanka ambassador's refugee claims absurd, says US Academic

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 24 August 2010, 10:23 GMT]
Robert Oberst, professor of political science, Nebraska Wesleyan University, and an expert on Sri Lanka commenting on Sri Lanka's High Commissioner to Canada, Chitranganee Wagiswara's remark that Tamil boat refugees were a "human smuggling operation with links to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam," said Wagiswara's claims "would be offensive, if they were not so absurd," and added that if Wagiswara wanted to silence critics, "she would be better served to persuade her government to allow outside independent observers into the Tamil areas to report on the conditions rather than to slander and attack those who question her government," Rediff.com reported.

Prof. Robert Oberst
"The Director of Rehabilitation in… Tamil Nadu has said that the 103,000 Tamil refugees in India are reluctant to return to Sri Lanka because of the problems that Wagiswara states do not exist. They choose to remain in the camps or as non-camp refugees," Oberst said, according to Rediff.

"She doesn't mention… that the country is still under war time emergency provisions, which allows unlimited detention without court hearings for Tamils. Nor does she mention that the country has taken a large percentage of Tamil land in the Northern Province for military bases, forcing farmers to struggle to survive," Oberst added.

"The Lankan government has created this situation by prohibiting outsiders and reporters from traveling and meeting freely with Tamils in the North," he added, Rediff reported.

"They have also viciously attacked critics. If you question the conditions that these people are fleeing from, you are called a supporter of organised crime as Wagiswara has done, or a terrorist as Sri Lanka's Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa has done," he noted.

"A nation state that does not do these things has nothing to hide," Oberst concluded.

 

Latest 15 Reports
25.07.16 21:12   Photo
2009 genocide justice not going to come from UNP of 1983 pogrom: Shivajilingam
24.07.16 23:00   Photo
Saiva priests protest against Colombo constructing fishing jetty near Nakulesvaram temple
23.07.16 23:09  
Ethnic discrimination in student enrollment exposes reconciliation farce: Tamil academic
22.07.16 19:47   Photo
Tamil student leaders in Jaffna condemn SL Governor Cooray’s remarks in Colombo
21.07.16 01:26  
University engineers not learning lessons
21.07.16 00:21   Photo
Tamil politicians blame SL Military for enticing Sinhala students with triumphalist chauvinism
20.07.16 16:39   Photo
Tamil fishermen rise up against Colombo's move to permanently militarise Pa'l'li-munai in Mannaar
20.07.16 15:21   Photo
NPC demands CoI to go beyond criminal investigations on Jaffna University clash
19.07.16 23:15  
Sinhala-Tamil student clash in Jaffna exposes dangerous proportions of military occupation
18.07.16 18:01   Photo
‘SL President sanctioning 67-feet Buddha statue off Jaffna is act of aggression’
17.07.16 23:46  
Eastern University instructs assaulted Tamil student to attend investigations in Colombo
16.07.16 13:37   Photo
SL military-backed Sinhala students clash with Tamil students in Jaffna University
15.07.16 23:51   Photo
Encouraged by US appeasement, SL military strengthens genocidal grip on North
14.07.16 23:52  
SL Commander of 58 Division twists lists at Mullaiththeevu Magistrates’ Court
13.07.16 23:31   Photo
SL military deployed to rob material remains of houses in Valikaamam North ‘HSZ’ 
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=32478