Swiss NGOs warn ‘too early’ to send SL asylum seekers home

2016-03-05 12:27:04

Some Swiss non-governmental groups said it was still much too early for asylum seekers to go back to Sri Lanka whereas Sri Lanka’s foreign minister promised his citizens living in Switzerland a safe return to the island during his recent visit to Bern, Swiss media reported.

Around 50,000 people from Sri Lanka live in Switzerland, mostly Tamils, who fled the island’s 30-year civil war that ended in 2009. Sri Lanka would like them to return and certain Swiss NGOs are alarmed by the prospect.

“In our view, this step comes too early,” Adrian Schuster, a Sri Lanka expert at the Swiss Refugee Council, told Swiss public radio on Thursday. “We have received reports that in 2015 returning people were arrested or abducted in Sri Lanka."

On Thursday during his visit to the Swiss capital, Sri Lanka’s foreign minister, Mangala Samaraweera, urged citizens to return home.

“We encourage citizens to return to take part in the reconstruction of the country,” he said. “We guarantee the safety of citizens who return to the country.”

Amnesty International, however, also has serious misgivings. The general situation has improved since the launch of the reconciliation process, says Nadia Boehlen, spokesperson for the Swiss branch: “But there is an anti-terrorist law that allows the state to lock people up and the demilitarization of the North and Northeast has not yet taken place, neither have people had their land returned.”

She said a recent visit to the island confirmed that torture was still carried out.


  Comments - 8

  • Bala Saturday, 5 March 2016 13:40

    They are lable for their opinion on other matters even if untrue but when they talk of torture it is a definitive chargeand they must be asked for the proof or evidence.

    Reply : 2       1

    onlooker Saturday, 5 March 2016 13:52

    This country became a safe place from the day that LTTE leader Prabakaran was eliminated.

    Reply : 2       2

    Mandy Saturday, 5 March 2016 15:16

    And also MR-Gota knocked out of power.

    Reply : 2       1

    rosebud Saturday, 5 March 2016 14:10

    Wow These NGOs really know how to stay in business via DM Android App

    Reply : 1       2

    Leo Saturday, 5 March 2016 15:57

    The Sri Lankan Swiss will have no interest in returning leaving their kushy lifestyle. So let them stay there tucked up with their bed buddy ngos. via DM Android App

    Reply : 2       0

    sl Saturday, 5 March 2016 17:15

    mean while Sambhandan is preaching about self ruling in north east.What a yahapaalanaya we have with this govt.!

    Reply : 0       2

    Aba Jayasekera Sunday, 6 March 2016 20:15

    If this NGO tells the truth - that Sri Lanka is safe - they will go out of business.

    Reply : 0       1

    Lanka Sunday, 6 March 2016 21:11

    As long as we stay safe from the under world we have nothing else going, guys!

    Reply : 0       2

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