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Coalition to send back all Tamil asylum seekers - TRC

2013 Jul 19

The Coalition Govt of Australia has re-iterated its 2012 declaration that it would send all Sri Lankan asylum seekers back home without processing their claims.

The Coalition spokesman on Immigration, Scott Morrison, told ABC Radio today that “our policy is to send them all back.”

However,The Tamil Refugee Council joined with many other groups condemns this Coalition policy which would see thousands of people sent back to the persecution from which they have fled and from which they have a legal right to seek asylum.

“Every day we see examples of shocking persecution against Tamils in Sri Lanka,” said TRC spokesman Trevor Grant. “Torture, beatings, jailings, disappearances, rape and murder feature regularly in conversations with Tamil refugees. These stories are real, and have been accepted by the Australian authorities.

“Let me cite the case of a Tamil refugee now living as a permanent resident in Melbourne, Kumara Devendrar. He survived torture in Sri Lanka and a frightening 19-day boat trip from India. He told me: ‘ After I was tied to a pole like a chicken and was kicked and beaten, I didn’t think about anything but escaping with my life. A leaky boat will always be a better option than torture.’

“Recently we helped a Tamil man who was brutally tortured in Sri Lanka in April this year during a trip back there to help in his uncle’s restaurant. ‘Kumar’ is a 35-year-old father of three who has lived and worked in Melbourne for the past three years.  “He told me his interrogators would bash him on the body and feet with wooden poles, insert ice cubes into his anus and crush his testicles with their hands. Iron rods heated up on a gas stove in the room were smashed across his back, inflicting horrific burns and severe damage to discs in his spine. Kumar can no longer work and has applied for refugee status.

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