A Sri Lankan asylum seeker who has lived in Australia since arriving illegally by boat in 2012 has been ordered to return to Sri Lanka, despite telling authorities he feared he would be persecuted for his religion.
According to the WA Today website, the Federal Court of Australia on Friday had dismissed the man's application to have a previous decision not to grant him a protection visa re-heard
The man claimed he fled Sri Lanka after his father was shot and killed by the Sri Lankan army and he and his family were captured and beaten by separatist group, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, in 2008.
He arrived in Australia in August 2012 and applied for a protection visa in May 2013 on the basis of his Tamil ethnicity.
"While the tribunal accepted that Tamils in Sri Lanka continued to face a degree of harassment and discrimination on account of their ethnicity, such as difficulties accessing employment and disproportionate monitoring by security forces, it did not accept that this amounted to denial of their capacity to subsist, serious physical harassment or any other form of serious harm," Friday's Federal Court response to the man's appeal application read.
He claimed that although the civil war had officially been declared over in 2009, treatment against Tamils was still "severe".
If he does return to Sri Lanka, he will likely face a short term of imprisonment for unlawfully leaving the country.