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Returning Tamils are safe – Canada

11 January 2011 06:45 am - 35     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Your life is not in danger just because you’re a Tamil who has been sent back to Sri Lanka, says a new policy introduced by Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board.

The “persuasive decision,” a note aimed at maintaining consistency in IRB rulings, said meaningful changes in Sri Lanka suggest Tamils – particularly young males – won’t be persecuted because of their social group or political opinions.

Although refugee board adjudicators aren’t forced to follow the new guideline, the IRB said such notes “are offered to members as models of sound reasoning that may be adopted in appropriate circumstances.”

The policy, which could affect refugee claimants who arrived in Canada aboard the Ocean Lady and MV Sun Sea, is being challenged in court by a lawyer who says it is not legally sound. The note was also criticized by activists, who suggested it could put lives in danger.

The IRB’s decision was released last month, just before the holidays. Persuasive decisions derive from individual cases that are identified as being of persuasive value in developing guidelines.

The case cited in the new IRB policy involved a 25-year-old Tamil male from Sri Lanka. (He did not arrive in Canada on either of the high-profile boats.)

The claimant told the refugee board that “he has been and will be persecuted by the Sri Lankan army, government officials and paramilitary agents associated with the Sri Lankan government if he returns to Sri Lanka.”

The claimant said he was arrested by Sri Lankan forces in 2006, interrogated, hit in the stomach and pushed against a wall. He moved to a different area with a friend soon afterward, but was stopped by government forces the next year. He said his friend was eventually executed. The claimant fled to Malaysia in 2007 before arriving in Canada in 2009.

The IRB, an independent administrative tribunal, rejected his refugee claim in November. It was cited in the persuasive decision four weeks later.

“The claimant is not a person in need of protection in that his removal to Sri Lanka would not subject him personally to a risk to his life,” the refugee board adjudicator said in the ruling. The IRB pointed to improvements in the country’s human-rights situation, among other factors.

The persuasive decision said protection is limited to those who face a specific risk that is not faced generally by others in or from the country.

Lorne Waldman, a Toronto lawyer, has filed an application with the Federal Court of Canada for leave to seek judicial review of the persuasive decision. “What’s before the court is whether this decision is legally sound,” he said, declining to comment further.

Daniel McLeod, a Vancouver lawyer who has represented many of the recent Tamil migrants, said the decision appeared to be politically motivated. He accused Ottawa of trying to stymie Tamil refugees at a time when the number of claims is high.

“I’m particularly concerned about the so-called finding that young Tamil males from the north and east are no longer at risk, which is contrary to past Federal Court decisions,” Mr. McLeod said. “I think that, frankly, the evidence that was cited does not support that conclusion.”

David Poopalapillai, a spokesman for the Canadian Tamil Congress, echoed those concerns and called the persuasive decision a “worrisome development.” He wondered how the IRB could argue the situation in Sri Lanka has improved so greatly since the country’s civil war ended in 2009.

Melissa Anderson, an IRB spokeswoman, said the decision “reflects the fact that changed conditions in the country of alleged persecution have an impact on the determination of whether or not a claimant faces a serious possibility of persecution.”

Ms. Anderson added each refugee claim, including those made by Tamils from Sri Lanka, is determined on its own merits by applying the law to the facts of the particular claim.

Source: The Globe And Mailc
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  Comments - 35

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  • Sujee Perera Tuesday, 11 January 2011 01:38 PM

    At last Canada is realising the truth. What those LTTE Tamils in overseas want is to create as much trouble in Sri Lanka to safeguard their Asylum Status.

    TDDC Tuesday, 11 January 2011 02:06 PM

    I think they should go Hunger strike.

    Victor Tuesday, 11 January 2011 02:26 PM

    Good news. Doors to bogus asylum seekers are closing. They cannot lie their way into these countries anymore. At last!!!

    King Elara Tuesday, 11 January 2011 07:07 AM

    Fair enough !

    Konde bendapu china Tuesday, 11 January 2011 07:34 AM

    At Last

    Keith Tuesday, 11 January 2011 07:47 AM

    Good acknowledgement. Hope HR junkies take note also

    spark Tuesday, 11 January 2011 07:48 AM

    Only recently it was divulged in parliament about armed gangs persecuting, attacking, kidnapping and killing tamils for money, that too in areas where the military is in full control every inch of the way. The perpetrators are no other than the state machinery. The IRB ruling is incorrect.

    malkanthi Tuesday, 11 January 2011 07:49 AM

    Minister Douglas Devananda recently said in the parliament that the security situation in Jaffna peninsula was deteriorating very fast, and there is once again a fear psychosis growing among the people. Only God knows who is speaking the truth!!

    ampare son Tuesday, 11 January 2011 03:46 PM

    I agree with you. i saw they protest. they carry tiger flag

    Fayad Tuesday, 11 January 2011 08:01 AM

    at last they have realize the reality in sri lanka !!!!!! safer than most western countries.

    O S - Doha Tuesday, 11 January 2011 08:05 AM

    Pro-LTTE sympathizers are still surviving on false propaganda by saying that the tamil lives are in danger upon their arrival...........we request those "diaspora professors" to visit and look at Tamils in any part of the country..........they may come up with Canada team to Hambanthota....the problems in Sri Lanka - if any is common for all three communitiesTamils, Muslims and Sinhalese......

    SL Tuesday, 11 January 2011 03:54 PM

    Who cares!

    nagu Tuesday, 11 January 2011 08:30 AM

    At last common sense prevails......

    mike Tuesday, 11 January 2011 08:54 AM

    recent gang caught in the north was all tamils. Govt cannot every inch of the way watch its citizens & nowhere in the world can they do that. a criminal will always find away. during last stage of the war a boat was intercepted by the navy all wifes of senior LTTE guys going to india with jewellery collected from innocent tamil civilians! need we say more? if your wife runs away with a sinhalese u will blame that also on the govt! Lol!

    Keith Tuesday, 11 January 2011 08:56 AM

    He was referring to the level of crime by muggers and other criminals. This is nothing to do with any race. Its a localised situation. dont be confused.

    wara Tuesday, 11 January 2011 08:59 AM

    Exactly !!

    wara Tuesday, 11 January 2011 09:00 AM

    No, people in the north knows who is speaking the truth !!

    mohmd Tuesday, 11 January 2011 05:07 PM

    Safest country in the world since MAY 18 2009.

    Rupasinghe Tuesday, 11 January 2011 09:08 AM

    Well said Doha, this is exaclty what is happening in the country. Problems are commont to all of us.

    Nihal Amarasekera Tuesday, 11 January 2011 09:15 AM

    At most; it could be said that it is the exception rather than the rule; sooner or later the "west" should realize. It is really the greaner pasteurs aspirants.

    Pottuvil putha Tuesday, 11 January 2011 09:22 AM

    Would this stem the bogus asylum seekers ? Canada is also trying to get rid of LTTE troublemakers, who are fighting among themselve, indulging in crime etc which are draining Canadian police resources.

    SUMI KUMARAN Tuesday, 11 January 2011 09:37 AM

    Over 80% of the 300,000 Tamils living in Canada are Canadian citizens.

    Sam of Hong Kong Tuesday, 11 January 2011 09:51 AM

    Funny old world, finally Canadians trying to get rid of LTTE boys as they realized LTTE would make a havoc in Canada.

    mlj Tuesday, 11 January 2011 06:41 PM

    "greaner pasteurs aspirants", "prices for esential goos are rocketted"?? Really guys? These comments are hilarious. Reminds me of the "Laughter is the best medicine" column in Readers Digest.

    KD Tuesday, 11 January 2011 08:15 PM

    Yes. BigMac style.

    lankaman Tuesday, 11 January 2011 10:07 AM

    how safe will Sri Lanka be with the return of these asylum seeking tamils? They will sell their motherland for personal gain. Might as well canada keep them there and we live peacefully here

    Jason Tuesday, 11 January 2011 10:38 AM

    @mike, Good one! @spark, checkmate!

    KD Tuesday, 11 January 2011 10:41 AM

    Sri Lanka doesn't need this rotten eggs back.

    bedi Tuesday, 11 January 2011 10:44 AM

    I remember visa for canadian parliment was issued then on his arrival he was deported now you guys are rolling red carpet for canadian visitors. AM I missing something completely?

    bedi Tuesday, 11 January 2011 10:47 AM

    Is there anything wrong with going for pasteurs aspirants.
    , when unemployment is sky high and prices for esential goos are rocketted

    Southern boy Tuesday, 11 January 2011 11:26 AM

    Canadian are beginning to sense the tamil sentiments slowly spreading in their towns and cities and unskilled, uneducated migrants milking their welfare system. A lesson for Australia and Norway too.

    Vihara Maha Devi Tuesday, 11 January 2011 11:26 AM

    I totally agree with you.

    ashok Tuesday, 11 January 2011 11:30 AM

    veryn true.Even for them no suicide bombers will be there.May triple gem/God bless Sri Lanka and everybody will live and prosper in Sri Lanka!

    ashok Tuesday, 11 January 2011 11:33 AM

    Absolutely right.Thuggery and criminal acts have nothing to do with the government.People being killed,mugged,kidnap in everywhere by thugs .Look at what happened in USA

    Sascha Tuesday, 11 January 2011 12:05 PM

    Nothing wrong in seeking greener pastures, but stop discrediting and falsely accuse GOSL of atrocities in present situation.
    How about standing in the queue and paying taxes, instead of only living on social benefits. Don’t mistake generosity and kindness to stupidity
    ‘The grass is always greener on the other side”


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