2ND LEAD

Tamil from Australia tortured, abused by Sri Lankan forces during visit to island

[TamilNet, Thursday, 25 April 2013, 17:48 GMT]
An Eezham Tamil male currently residing in Melbourne, Australia was tortured and sexually abused by Sri Lankan forces when he paid a visit to the island a few weeks before, Australian media reports. Speaking under a different name of ‘Kumar’ to the ABC on Wednesday, the father of three described in graphic detail of how he was abducted and tortured. This was, however, flatly rejected as “false allegations” by the SL High Commissioner for Australia, Thisara Samarasinghe, himself a military officer accused of war crimes. Despite living in Australia, the torture survivor is unable to come out in public owing to fear of retaliation by the GoSL on his family back in the island. Tamil sources from Australia further said that as long as the US and its bloc are going to churn out only impotent resolutions, this arrogance of the genocide-accused SL state would continue.

A report by Michael Gordon, Political Editor with The Age, for the Sydney Morning Herald on Thursday further elaborates on the case of the torture survivor.

Extracts from Mr. Gordon’s report titled ‘Scarred by Sri Lankan torture’ follows:

“''Kumar's'' scars are real and are only just beginning to heal - the result, he maintains, of four gruesome days of torture in a dark room, somewhere outside Colombo, barely two weeks ago.”

“What seems beyond question is that Kumar, not his real name, was un-scarred when he left Melbourne in March to return to Sri Lanka to run the restaurant of a hospitalised uncle - and very badly scarred when he returned on April 11.”

“Kumar admits he accepted money to carry some parcels for the Tamil Tigers while working as a bus driver in Sri Lanka in 2006. He says he left the country two years later and entered Australia on a student visa before completing a course in cooking and being granted a 457 visa in January last year.”

“Twice, he says, he returned to Sri Lanka to visit family before his wife and three children were able to join him. Each time, he says, he kept a low profile, staying in the family home, and had no trouble.”

“This time, he suspects he was spotted by Sri Lankan intelligence officers while working front-of-house in his uncle's restaurant.”

“He was riding home from the restaurant on a motor bike with his brother when they were intercepted. Kumar says he was bound, blindfolded and driven to a room and tortured for four days.”

“Early on, he says he saw a stove in a blood-spattered room, discarded women's underwear and an iron bar in a bucket. The ordeal reached its climax on the fourth day, when he says his back was beaten with the scalding bar.”

“''They wanted me to admit that I'm a LTTE [Tamil Tiger] and I said, 'No. How can I admit? I just delivered some parcels for some money','' Kumar told Fairfax.”

“''On the last day I begged them not to kill me, [saying] 'I've got family, I've got kids'. They showed me a blank sheet of paper and wanted me to sign.'' He claims that 30 minutes after signing the paper, he was released by a roadside.”

“Now he is seeking asylum, saying he fears that his back injuries will prevent him returning to work at a suburban Indian restaurant - and leave him liable to deportation.”

Separately, in a press release by the Tamil Refugee Council on Thursday, Aran Mylvaganam, spokesperson for the TRC, said that Kumar’s case was a living proof to the lie of the Australian Government's claim that it was safe for Tamils to return to Sri Lanka, whether they be asylum seekers or people returning voluntarily.

“Australia’s policy on Sri Lanka and on asylum seekers and refugees is in turmoil. It is morally, ethically and legally bankrupt,” said Mylvanagam.

The reason people like Kumar have to suffer is because governments like Australia engage with this brutal regime, giving it the cover to commit atrocities, he added.



External Links:
The Sydney Morning Herald: Scarred by Sri Lankan torture
ABC: Torture claims emerge from Sri Lanka

 

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