UK plans bulk deportation of Eezham Tamil asylum seekers

[TamilNet, Monday, 26 September 2011, 11:44 GMT]
UK has taken a decision to deport more than 100 Eezham Tamil asylum seekers to Sri Lanka on 28 of this month. The Home Ministry of UK has taken this decision as a test case to declare Sri Lanka a country free from human rights violations, said Eezham Tamil diaspora activists protesting the deportation in a meeting convened by Tamil Lawyers Association at Ealing Amman Temple in London on Sunday. Meanwhile, just last Tuesday, delivering a judgement and stopping the deportation of an Eezham Tamil refugee in India, judge Arul Varma said in New Delhi, “Handing over a refugee to Sri Lanka where he fears persecution will make us nothing short of abettors.” The Indian judge was worrying about the lack of proper refugee laws in India, but UK has striped the rights of its courts to intervene in such matters, the UK lawyers commented.

“The very idea of deporting the convict herein to his country of origin, where he has a well-founded fear of persecution, would not be in consonance with the principles of natural justice. How can the court become a party to the persecution of an individual? The court cannot retrograde itself to the position of a mute spectator,” Indian judge Arul Varma said last Tuesday in the case of refugee Chandra Kumar whom the Indian government wanted to deport to Sri Lanka as a part of punishment for his attempt to leave for Italy without proper documents.

No British court or EU laws could save the cases of the Eezham Tamil asylum seekers that are decided on the ‘fast track’ system based on ‘political’ considerations, Tamil diaspora activists said.

The president of Tamil Lawyers Association, Barrister SJ Joseph advised public protest and political action through Members of Parliament.

Mr Tim Martin of Act Now, who was speaking at the meeting, was accusing the political shade of opinion the British Defence Secretary Liam Fox was favouring to Sri Lanka. Act Now along with Tamil Solidarity went into a campaign against Liam Fox in his constituency.

Tim Martin wanted the UK Home Secretary also to be countered in her own constituency.

The International Crisis Group in its September 13 report has classified UK as an international partner of Sri Lanka along with India, Japan, USA, EU and UN in the war waged in the island.

The listing implies UK as a partner in the war crimes as well.

At the height of the war, instead of voicing for stopping the genocide, UK’s representative at the UN Security Council chose to tell that the LTTE was long ‘blighting’ Sri Lanka.

After the war, the UK is yet to acknowledge the genocide in the island or the right to self-determination of Eezham Tamils as a solution.

Any Eezham Tamil just verbally voicing inside or outside of the island for his or her independence is ‘constitutionally’ enough to penalise the person in the island. One doesn’t need any other reason.

By certifying Sri Lanka a free country for Eezham Tamils at this crucial juncture, what UK wants to convene will have a long impact on Tamil- British relationship, the Tamil diaspora circles said.

Well-wishers and relatives of the asylum seekers have decided in the meeting to mobilise the support of the concerned Members of Parliament representing their constituencies.

With the kind of structural genocide pursued by Sri Lanka, Eezham Tamils refugees coming out of the island will be ever increasing is the opinion of political observers.

If the UK really wants to stop the refugees coming, if it really wants the refugees to get back, if it really wants the Tamil diaspora to engage in productive ways in the island that are beneficial to the UK too, then it should help the liberation of Eezham Tamils, the UK diaspora activists said.


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