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UN protests against deportation

20 June 2012 03:17 am - 5     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) said that it would protest if Sri Lanka deported registered asylum seekers and refugees living within its territory.  

UNHCR External Relations Associate Sulakshani Perera stated that the UNHCR had been receiving reports that refugees and asylum seekers, a majority of the 243 registered refugees and asylum seekers in the country, were receiving letters from the Department of Immigration and Emigration asking them to leave the country within 14 days or face deportation proceedings.

She said that the letters cited “over stay of visas” as the reason for deportation.

The deportation of refugees and asylum seekers would be contrary to customary international law of non-refoulment which prohibits countries from sending refugees back to places where their life or freedom would be threatened, she said.

The official also said that it would be “a breach of the UNHCR’s country agreement with the government- under which we carry out international protection and humanitarian assistance programmes in Sri Lanka- and specifically the agreement with the Ministry of External Affairs which details the terms of reference under which the UNHCR issues certificates to asylum seekers and refugees”.

The Commission said it was making the necessary interventions with the relevant government authorities to withdraw the notices and prevent the deportation of these asylum seekers and refugees.

The Immigration and Emigration Controller, Chulanada Perera refused to comment on the issue citing that discussions were being conducted; the Ministry of External Affairs could not be reached to verify the official stand of the government on the issue.  (Nabeela Hussain)
 
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  Comments - 5

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  • Sarath Alwis Wednesday, 20 June 2012 09:53 AM

    Sumedha and Roger, I think you both need to understand the difference that lies between a Refugee and and Asylum seeker.An asylum seeker is someone who has asked the government for protection under international law and has not had a decision on their case yet. A refugee is someone who has proven that they need protection under international law and the government has granted them refugee status. The UK and most of the EU play a lot on those terms.

    Nodrog Wednesday, 20 June 2012 04:23 AM

    Who would b foolish enough to seek asylum here, I thought it was the other way around.

    Sumedha Wednesday, 20 June 2012 04:55 AM

    How come the UK and Australia send back asylum seekers? Why haven't we heard from the UN on that issue?

    Naveed Wednesday, 20 June 2012 04:51 PM

    UNHCR is a big fraud, nothing else.

    roger Wednesday, 20 June 2012 07:38 AM

    UNHCR, Have you tried to do this in England as well?


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