Video: Attempt to block removal of last SL ‘pirate’

29 October 2012 03:06 am - 10     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Refugee advocates in Australia have been trying to make contact with the last remaining Sri Lankan from a hijacked trawler intercepted near the Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the early hours of Friday, hoping they can block his removal from Australia on the grounds he faces serious danger in Sri Lanka.

Fourteen of the 15 Sri Lankans from the Chejan multi-day fishing trawler allegedly taken by force on October 14 were flown back to Sri Lanka on Saturday barely 24 hours after arriving. They were immediately detained for questioning in the capital, Colombo.
Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said at the weekend none of the returned Sri Lankans made claims for asylum. "Some of these people face serious charges in Sri Lanka," he said.

"The government took the view it's appropriate that they face those charges, and that the removal occur as soon as possible.

"They made no claims for protection nor raised any issues that engaged Australia's international obligations."

Yesterday, the Refugee Action Coalition said the group's swift removal was extremely worrying. The organisation said it was reminiscent of recent cases in which detainees were "screened out" at initial interviews.

"I am extremely concerned that the 14 alleged pirates were sent back to Sri Lanka without having the benefit of any independent legal advice," coalition spokesman Ian Rintoul said.

"This is similar to the situation with the Sri Lankans who have been removed from detention in Australia and Nauru without the opportunity of legal advice.

"There is every reason to believe they would have legitimate claims for protection and every reason to doubt that could get a fair trial in Sri Lanka."

Mr Rintoul said he held concerns for the remaining Sri Lankan and his organisation wanted to help him.

An Immigration Department spokesman was unable to say why the 15th Sri Lankan did not go with them, or whether he tried to claim asylum. It is thought he was flown from the Cocos (Keeling) Islands to Christmas Island on Saturday, about the same time his travelling companions were returned to Sri Lanka.

The Immigration Department returned a total of 29 Sri Lankans to Colombo at the weekend as more boats arrived -- 35 people assisted near Ashmore Islands were delivered to Christmas Island, as was a boat carrying six people detected near the Australian territory. Yesterday at Cocos (Keeling) Islands, 62 boatpeople were brought ashore.

Late yesterday, the Immigration Department was expecting more boat arrivals at Flying Fish Cove.

The department also sought to ease pressure on detention facilities on Christmas Island by moving several family groups to Darwin. An Immigration Department spokesman was unable to say yesterday whether the families stayed there, or were transferred on to somewhere else.

Those asylum-seekers arrived after August 13 and are therefore eligible to be sent to Nauru, although the Immigration Department has repeatedly said decisions about who goes there will be made on a case-by-case basis and for operational reasons.

The 14 people who travelled to the tiny Australian atolls of Cocos (Keeling) Islands onboard the Chejan multi-day were returned on a chartered long-range jet by Australian Federal Police after discussions between the Australian and Sri Lankan governments.

A Sri Lankan official has said they face a range of charges including attempted murder, abduction and theft, according to Sri Lankan authorities, who say the boat was taken by force on October 14. (The Australian)
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  • Nathan Monday, 29 October 2012 06:48 AM

    We never had a love affair with them to begin with.

    Ram Perera Monday, 29 October 2012 09:07 AM

    According to what Refugee Advocates say The Sri Lankan is facing serious charges at home. Do these advocates mean that all those who face serious charges can claim refugee status in Australia or do they take up these matters as they are paid by State or Federal funded organisations for the work they do irrespective of merit???
    Ram

    Nodrog Monday, 29 October 2012 03:26 AM

    These people murdered 3 fishermen...what advise would the refugee advocates give them? Plead not guilty or maybe insanity? The only 'serious danger' they face on their return will be to pay for their crime.

    Medusa Monday, 29 October 2012 03:38 AM

    The Tiger terrorists have so many friends in the Australian establishment, why do they not go for Eelam over there? After all there is so much empty land going a begging! They should detain all terrorists to populate these areas and turn back the genuine traveler who has to turn himself upside down to get a visa!!!

    Nathan Monday, 29 October 2012 03:45 AM

    Send them all back home we don't want any more of you curries in our country. Finally we are taking a stand against these illegal queue jumpers and sending em back home.

    terror Monday, 29 October 2012 01:14 PM

    This will help the overcrowding in our prisons....Pls send all the murderers, rapists,robbers on boats to Autralia... :-)

    Thomas The Engine Monday, 29 October 2012 04:04 AM

    Advocating and encouraging violence and crimes. Idiots.

    RamUK Monday, 29 October 2012 04:26 AM

    Why send them back now? Has your love affair with these bogus asylum seekers suddenly ended? Don't forget Australians also are guests who overstayed and ultimately took over the country.

    sltk2004 Monday, 29 October 2012 04:47 AM

    So anyone can create a very serious offense in SL (example: murder) and escape to Aussie. Then they can claim that they are facing charges in SL. What a logic !

    Karunanidi Monday, 29 October 2012 06:33 AM

    I've been to few countries where the LTTE diaspora is very strong, like in UK, France, Aussie, Norway. These countries will learn once they start claiming that part of the land belongs to them and make an Eelam there. In UK they have organized gangs and have involved in many murder cases and so on. All these are influenced by stupid movies.


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