Indonesia, Australia relocate Tamil refugees to isolated detention centres

[TamilNet, Monday, 19 April 2010, 13:59 GMT]
Indonesian authorities on Monday relocated more than 100 Tamil refugees in Merak, who have been refusing to leave their boat, to an undisclosed location, believed to be an Australian-funded detention centre on the Riau islands, near Singapore. Informed Tamil sources said that the refugees were being moved without any promise and that attempts to legal aid by the community was refused access during the process. Meanwhile, the Australian government, which had frozen asylum applications from Sri Lanka and Afghanistan a few days ago, on Sunday said it was reopening Curtin, an isolated detention centre in the sparsely populated far north of Western Australia, 1,800 km north of Perth to move the refugees from Christmas Island.

Australian of the Year, Professor Patrick McGorry, on Monday condemned the decision saying that the isolated detention centre is a "factory of mental illness," according to The Refugee Action Collective.

The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, which earlier this month said it was reviewing the handling of Sri Lankan and Afghan refugees also expressed concerns on Monday stating that it was "deeply troubled" by the handling of Sri Lankan and Afghan refugees by Australia and said these measures were likely to have a negative impact on the health and wellbeing of asylum-seekers, particularly those who had already endured torture or trauma, the AFP reported.

"The combination of mandatory detention, suspension of asylum claims and the geographical isolation of detention facilities such as Curtin Air Force Base in Western Australia -- all without any effective judicial oversight -- is a deeply troubling set of factors," regional representative of UNHCR, Richard Towle, was quoted by the AFP as saying.

Earlier this month, the UNHCR spokeswoman Melissa Fleming had said the situation in Sri Lanka was changing and that it was reviewing its guidelines on refugees from the island and Afghanistan.

In Sri Lanka's case, current UNHCR guidelines were based on "the situation of generalised violence there -- basically that no Tamil should be returned forcibly, and that they should be considered individually, under the 1951 (refugee) convention," Flemming had earlier said, explaining that there was now "freedom of movement" and that many IDPs were "returning home."

 

Latest 15 Reports
14.10.19 23:48   Photo
Tamil parties in North-East stipulate ‘acid test’ terms to SL presidential candidates
13.10.19 22:15   Photo
SL Governor's latest land grab poses danger to archaeological traces of Eezham Tamils
12.10.19 22:23   Photo
Monks step up campaign against Muslims, want to carve out Sinhala colony in Ampaa'rai
11.10.19 22:07   Photo
Vote for Self-Determination, reject major candidates for more effective boycott
10.10.19 23:31   Photo
SL Police intensifies restrictions on Saiva devotees at disputed ‘chaitya’ hilltop in East
09.10.19 20:17  
Indian Coast Guard trespassed into waters off Jaffna, 18 fishers detained since 03 October
08.10.19 18:43  
Divisional Secretary, TNA MPs must act to release Chegnchoalai lands: civil activist
07.10.19 23:12   Photo
Heinous act by HRCSL: former orphans of Chegnchoalai on the brink of losing lands
06.10.19 12:21  
EPDP joins Jaffna protest against desecration of Neeraaviyadi temple
05.10.19 22:06  
Families inheriting lands from parents refused of land registration in Moothoor East
04.10.19 21:50  
SL Archaeology, Police continue to disturb Tamils’ right to worship at Vedukku-naa'ri hilltop
03.10.19 19:16  
Raghavan plans to distribute uncultivatable lands to Tamils to compensate for loss of fertile lands
02.10.19 22:28   Photo
No place for human rights in China’s white paper for future world
01.10.19 18:26  
Genocidal Sri Lanka hits back at UN, claims it passed ‘litmus test’ on human rights in 2019
30.09.19 20:49  
SL military, police, traders, exert pressure on civil authorities in Mannaar to alienate lands
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=31569