Lankan asylum seeker fighting for his life

11 April 2014 05:33 am - 6     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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A Sri Lankan asylum seeker on a bridging visa is fighting for his life after dousing himself in petrol following a decision by the Australian immigration department to deport him back to Sri Lanka

The man, whose first name is Janarthanan and who is in his late 20s, was on a bridging visa and had been working as a cleaner in Sydney's inner-western suburb of Balmain.

The Tamil asylum seeker, who had been living in Australia for at least 18 months, was this week told by the department that his application for a permanent protection visa had been denied and he would have to return to Sri Lanka, the convener of the Tamil Refugee Council, Trevor Grant, said.

On Wednesday night Janarthanan doused himself in petrol and set himself alight shortly after 8.30pm near the shipyard in Balmain, causing severe burns to 70 per cent of his body.

NSW police confirmed the man was in a ''critical condition'' in Concord Hospital on Thursday night.

Janarthanan, who had come to Australia after fleeing the Sri Lankan authorities, had left a suicide note saying he would rather die in Australia than die in Sri Lanka, Mr Grant said. Tamil asylum seekers are living in continual fear that they will be sent back to Sri Lanka, he said.

A report by the Human Rights Law Centre last month showed many asylum seekers who are sent back to the country face the threat of torture from the very authorities they had fled. Late last month the United Nations Human Rights Council ordered an international investigation into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka. Australia did not co-sponsor the bill.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said it was a "deeply distressing incident".

"The government’s focus is to ensure for the proper care and support of this young man, in partnership with the Sri Lankan high commission," a spokesman for Mr Morrison said.

The government confirmed that the young man "was found not to be owed protection and this decision was affirmed on appeal by the Refugee Review Tribunal earlier this month".(The Sydney Morning Herald)
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  Comments - 6

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  • Fuzzy Friday, 11 April 2014 02:52 PM

    international media is controlled by a handful of people. therefore only what they want the world to know will come out to the public. they know there are enough fools to believe all this. via DM Android App

    sootikka Friday, 11 April 2014 02:59 PM

    Why would he have to live in fear in sri Lanka if he was not involved in terrorism ?there are so many more tamils living here in sri Lanka

    Public Friday, 11 April 2014 02:59 PM

    We public born in this golden country pray that we to die in our country of birth, but some fools drink well-water and thank the ocean.

    anura Friday, 11 April 2014 07:56 AM

    How can Australian govt. prevent anyone who is determined to take his or her life on this type of issues. Every asylum seeker might start to say unsubstantiated allegations about their country of origin. What can you do ???

    Biased Friday, 11 April 2014 01:28 PM

    "threat of torture from the very authorities they had fled". What a misguided news. There were thousands sent back and what are the proofs? There were only two incidents reported. Misguided information is the key to survival or those who seeking economic refuge in Australia. Hope poor soul recover soon. via DM Android App

    Chathu Friday, 11 April 2014 08:22 AM

    Hardcore LTTEer it seems.


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