Detained SL asylum seekers in Malaysia launch hunger strike

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 25 May 2010, 15:43 GMT]
Seventy-five political asylum seekers from Sri Lanka arrested on Malaysian seas and held in Malaysia International Airport since 23 April are to go on a peaceful hunger strike Tuesday placing three requests to the Malaysian State and to the International Countries that grant political asylum, organizers of the event said. In the first stage, sixty males will fast until their demands are met and the hunger strike is not at all intended to hurt the Malaysian government or to go against its laws, they further said.

The following are the three requests to be placed by the protestors:

• Malaysian government which respects humanitarianism, on the basis of compassion, should not return us to Sri Lanka but send us to a country that accepts political asylum seekers besides informing international countries of its move.

• Malaysian government should enable human rights activists including representatives of non-governmental voluntary organizations to meet us.

• International countries should come forward to consider our plight and offer us political asylum.

The above political asylum seekers had fled from Sri Lanka on 19 April in a vessel which had encountered mechanical failure on Malaysian seas.

When Malaysian Navy tried to rescue them they did not first consent to be rescued but later agreed on two promises given by Malaysian Navy officers.

The first was not to send them back to Sri Lanka or to take legal against them and the second was to send them to a country that offers political asylum.

“So far the pledges had not been met and though we are in a weakened physical condition and mentally tormented we are determined to fast unto death until our requests are fulfilled,” the organizers said.

“We tearfully plead our fellow Tamils abroad and the international leaders to consider our pathetic plight and save us from our present predicament,” they further said.


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