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Gota gets tough

17 October 2010 01:33 pm - 30     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa has urged the Australian government to get tough with asylum-seekers amid claims most illegal asylum-seekers return home within a year, The Australian said

The call by Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa came as terrorism expert Rohan Gunaratna said 70 per cent of Tamils granted asylum in Australia and Canada had returned to Sri Lanka for a visit.

Mr Rajapaksa said the navy and police, now with the command of the seas around the island, had stopped the flow of boats from Sri Lanka's shores. "We have not recently had a single case of people going from here in boats to seek asylum," he said.

Now, instead, people travel to third countries by air and set off from there, he told The Australian.

Mr Rajapaksa, the brother of the Sri Lankan President, Mahinda, said that after the defeat of the Tamil Tigers in May last year after a 26-year insurgency there was no reason for Tamils to seek asylum overseas. "There is no reason why anybody should leave Sri Lanka out of any fear. They have the freedom to live anywhere," said the former lieutenant colonel, who narrowly escaped a suicide bombing attempt on his life four years ago. "When people come to know that countries are sympathetic and give them asylum, it is very difficult to stop.

"The Australian government has to be very strict on anybody to whom they are considering granting asylum. If they just stopped giving asylum, it would be much easier to stop this process."

The Singapore-based Professor Gunaratna described the Defence Secretary -- a 20-year army veteran, brought back by his brother from a successful information technology career in California to mastermind the defeat of the Tamil Tigers -- as "the second-most powerful man in Sri Lanka". "It doesn't really matter to Sri Lanka whether these people leave or not. But for Australia, it does. Seventy per cent of those who have been granted refugee status in Australia or Canada then return to visit Sri Lanka within one year," he said.

Mr Rajapaksa said that some Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam cadres escaped the final collapse of their military campaign. "We know there are a few groups trying to continue the fight in a different form.

"Obviously there could be a re-grouping in other countries. So the Australian government has to be very careful in deploying its intelligence agencies on this issue."

He said Sri Lanka had been working "very closely" with Australia, "especially on human smuggling", with visits by Australian police and naval officials.
Mr Rajapaksa said that the Sri Lankan government had been unable to match the "heavy propaganda and lobbying"of the Tamil diaspora, influenced by the Tigers, in many Western countries including Australia.

The government has invited opinion leaders of that diaspora to visit Sri Lanka as it emerges from the war, and to visit centres of past conflict. Those who had gone, including some from Australia, had "returned pleased." (The Australian)



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  Comments - 30

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  • Viraj Monday, 18 October 2010 07:38 AM

    If wold ask what have you done to KP, what is your answer?

    Ananda Monday, 18 October 2010 08:05 AM

    Migration is legitimate thing. Refugee claim is different. Some people do not have enough brain to understand facts.

    usaguy Monday, 18 October 2010 08:16 AM

    Abdul razeen is absolutely right. I dont knwo about Aussie in USa there are hundred of muslims who lived in Colombo and now been granted assylaum. These people fabricate a story pretending that they were harrased by the government. Not only Aussie even countried like USA and Canada have to take this matter seriously.

    Rajeev Patnaik Monday, 18 October 2010 08:20 AM

    That is the problem of those countries and Gota should concentrate the development programs in Lanka.He should not unnecessary waste his energy

    Mahesh Monday, 18 October 2010 01:09 AM

    Correct...!

    Punchi Putha Monday, 18 October 2010 01:55 AM

    Very true Saman, Sinhalese asylum seekers are not a headache at all.

    Kamalan Monday, 18 October 2010 02:06 AM

    We cannot deny the fact that many are bogus asylum seekers...

    Mr.Bean Monday, 18 October 2010 02:43 AM

    Hats off to GR for your good work,

    Andare Monday, 18 October 2010 09:13 AM

    Yes Nish, absolutely.

    sandhir Monday, 18 October 2010 02:47 AM

    This man forgot that he himself migrated to US. The pot calling the kettle black.

    Mervin Monday, 18 October 2010 09:25 AM

    Sir!! How did you get your US green card Sir?????

    Nicky Karunarathna Monday, 18 October 2010 03:12 AM

    ASIO(Australian Security Intelligence Organization) is in deep slumber as they do not know from where this Tamils are coming from. In fact majority is not coming from Sri Lanka but from Tamil Nadu and Malaysia. It is organize from Australia itself, where most dangerous LTTE groups are residing in Australia as Australian citizens. They have millions of dollars to disperse too. The majority of their funds are given to Australian Greens Party headed by Dr. Brown and also to Labour Party. And also to Catholic and Uniting church to canvass against Sri Lanka government. If Australia really wants to stop the Tamil boat people coming to their soil, they can stop immediately, if they take LTTE(now call World Tamil Congress) members into custody for their illegal acts. It is a wheels within wheels situation rather!

    ajith Monday, 18 October 2010 09:38 AM

    please go for god sake.
    The healing Srilanka will be pleased to see them leave.

    NishV Monday, 18 October 2010 03:15 AM

    Skilled migration and asylum seeking are totally different scenarios like black and white my friend.

    spark Monday, 18 October 2010 03:16 AM

    The best and most intelligent comment out of all. Sandhir you are bang on the spot.

    rohan Monday, 18 October 2010 09:49 AM

    Yes, Gota is absolutely correct. Also I would like to mention that Sri Lanka high commissioner in Canberra is not effective enough. We need a person who can communicate well and get the message across to the Australian government. Something the SL government must consider as Australian government is sympathetic towards asylum seekers. Sri Lankan high commission must be restructured to counter LTTE propaganda.

    Thushara Monday, 18 October 2010 09:51 AM

    we are proud of you sir..

    srilal Monday, 18 October 2010 03:39 AM

    please don't stop them......let them go by thousands...at last srilankan be happy here...

    tha Sunday, 17 October 2010 01:46 PM

    True.......

    local boy Sunday, 17 October 2010 01:47 PM

    Very good call by gota.

    Upul Monday, 18 October 2010 03:53 AM

    Migration and illegally entering a coutry as bogus refugees are different things.

    Saman Sunday, 17 October 2010 01:58 PM

    Somall Pirates & Tamil (Gypsy) bogus asylum seekers are a headache to the whole world now.

    dutugamunu Sunday, 17 October 2010 02:11 PM

    well said sir ...

    Dilan Monday, 18 October 2010 04:13 AM

    Get all those Asylum seekers back home. They are giving a negative image of Sri Lanka.

    Abdul Razeen Sunday, 17 October 2010 02:36 PM

    It seems people who are not even affected by the war have gone abroad as refugees. Good chance for them to lead an easy life in a developed country. Foreign governments should put more effort into finding out who are the real refugees and who are frauds

    Vikram Sunday, 17 October 2010 02:37 PM

    If conditions are condusive and governace is good nobody will leave Srilanka, we instead can expect people from other countries coming to live in Srilanka.

    patriot lanka Sunday, 17 October 2010 02:43 PM

    Way to go Gota!
    If people can lead decent lives even in Kilinochchi today why should anybody leave the country selling country's reputation. Go to North and East and see the development drive.

    Ahamed Sheriff Sunday, 17 October 2010 03:14 PM

    They are economic migrants not asylum seekers, Canada and Australian Govt’s should not give visa to those who jump the line (Queue)

    mahinda Sunday, 17 October 2010 03:21 PM

    Very true, I think these rackets are organized by pro-LTTE diaspora groups to remind the international community at regular intervals that Tamils are harassed here in Sri lanka when they lead decent lives here.

    Wasantha Monday, 18 October 2010 05:23 AM

    Unnecessary interference to the internal affairs of other Country.


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