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Lanka rejects allegations on returnees

2014 Oct 01

The Sri Lankan Government has dismissed as ‘baseless’ the findings of an investigation by the Australian media into the alleged mistreatment of failed asylum seekers sent back to the country by Australia.

In a report by Australia’s Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) some people claimed they were abducted, tortured, raped and abused by the Sri Lankan security forces on their return.

However Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Australia Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe described the report as doctored, orchestrated and biased.

The Australian Department for Immigration and Border Protection also responded to the claims in the special Dateline investigation by Go Back To Where You Came From presenter Dr David Corlett.

The Australian Department for Immigration and Border Protection said that former Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr, during his term in office, sought and received assurances from Sri Lanka regarding similar allegations raised.

“We are relying on the same assurances and despite our request we have not received any information that would enable us to investigate these matters further. Persons seeking to arrive in Australia illegally by boat may be subject to an enhanced screening process, as also practiced by the previous government, to ensure compliance by Australia with our international obligations under relevant conventions.” (Colombo Gazette)

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