Feature Article

Australia’s detention frustrates Eezham Tamil to kill himself

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 26 October 2011, 13:44 GMT]
An Eezham Tamil asylum seeker, already accepted as a refugee in Australia, but waiting for long to get ‘security clearance’ from the Australian intelligence to come out of his ‘detention,’ killed himself Tuesday night. Earlier on that day, which was also the Deepaavali festival day, his request to go out to visit a friend for the festival was turned down by the authorities. When asked by the media, whether the government takes any responsibility, the Australian Immigration Minister, Chris Bowen said “We take responsibility for ensuring that people have the chance to make their claims and for ensuring that national security is taken into account. We cannot and will not compromise on matters of national security.” Twice, Australia readily accepted Sri Lanka’s military commanders accused in the genocide of Eezham Tamils as ‘Ambassadors’.

The 27-year-old Eezham Tamil youth, fled the island two years ago and was first detained in the Christmas Island before shifted to the detention centre at Villawood in Sydney. The youth’s parents were in a detention camp of genocidal Sri Lanka in Vanni.

According to a former fellow detainee from Iran, the Tamil youth fell in love with a Tamil girl in the detention and the pair was looking forward to marry after their release.

The deceased was watching many of his friends in the detention, including his fiancée, getting their permanent residency visas and released into the community, said Mr. Iraj Maghadam from Iran who was a close friend of the Tamil man in the detention and found his release sometimes back.

Once a happy man singing and laughing, the Tamil youth went into depression, as he could not get the release while his fiancée left, and he started taking antidepressants and sleeping tablets prescribed by the doctor of the detention centre, Mr. Maghadam said. He visited his Tamil friend in the detention last week and found him frustrated over the ‘security clearance’ for his release.

The autopsy is yet to be released, but Mr. Maghadam thinks that his Tamil friend has taken an overdose of sleeping tablets.

The Villawood detention centre doesn’t have 24 hours medical facilities. The doctor leaves by 8 pm.

Mr. Maghadam said other friends at Villawood told him of a letter his Tamil friend had written to authorities stating that he wanted to kill himself, reports Victoria Bruce of 9News from Australia.

The Tamil youth was granted refugee status in August this year, but was not given with ‘intelligence clearance’ to be released into community.

According to Immigration Minister Chris Bowen, the man was one of 462 people awaiting security clearance from the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO).

The Immigration Minister said that the Tamil youth was not considered suitable for community placement.

"There was consultation with the relevant security agencies, that's ASIO, and the advice was it [the release of the Tamil youth] was not appropriate in this case," the Immigration Minister was cited by the Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday.

The Establishments have a practice of consulting genocidal Colombo on such matters and the crimes accused military commanders of Colombo accepted as ambassadors do the liaison work, diaspora Tamil circles said citing the example of Switzerland providing telephone contacts of arrested Eezham Tamils to Colombo, when a war crimes accused SL commander was the ambassador.

The Establishments make no qualms when they accept people accused in the crime of genocide as ambassadors, guests of honour etc.

The ‘national security’ and strategic greed of these Establishments have no business to uphold, abet and boost genocide of a people in another country who have never meant anything against these Establishments.

Unless the civil society in these countries take up the task of educating the culprits sitting in the Establishments on what is really meant by ‘national security’ the elements will eventually harm the civil security of their own people, alternative human rights activists in the West commented.

External Links:
9NEWS: Refugee 'preparing to marry' before death
Sydney Morning Herald: Refugee's death sparks fresh debate
ABC: Suicide renews spotlight on mandatory immigration detention


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