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"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."

- Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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Home > Struggle for Tamil Eelam > Tamil Refugees & Asylum Seekers > Deported Tamil Asylum Seekers arrested & tortured, December 1999

Deported Tamil Asylum Seekers
arrested & tortured in Colombo


The British Refugee Council publication Sri Lanka Monitor, reported in December 1999:

"Amsterdam-based Sri Lanka Working Group (SLWN) says...that there are no organisations in Sri Lanka concerned with monitoring the plight of deported asylum seekers. International refugee agency UNHCR is involved only in “passive monitoring”, which means that it will only look into problems brought to its notice. According to SLWN, the monitoring by the Netherlands embassy in Colombo ceased on 4 February 1999, the Dutch government declaring that it is not responsible for deported asylum seekers.

The experience of Ravi Shanker is an example of the plight of deported asylum seekers. Ravi Shanker was returned from Netherlands in February 1998. He was questioned at the Colombo airport by police officers about links with the LTTE. After entering Colombo, he was granted a permit to reside in the capital, but the police made it clear that he must return to Jaffna.

He was arrested on 21 March and again on 15 July. On the second occasion, he was held at the Peliyagoda police station until 25 July, where he was stripped and tortured. He was interrogated about LTTE links by two policemen pretending to be from Sri Lankan government ally, the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) and another man claiming to be from Interpol. During this time, an officer from the Dutch embassy visited him for five minutes.

Ravi Shanker was produced before the Colombo Magistrate on 25 July and detained under the PTA until July 1999, before release on bail. His case has been brought before the Magistrate’s Court on 18 occasions during which neither he nor his lawyer received proper information.

Amnesty International says that Nadarajah Navakrishnan, 27, arrested allegedly by the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI) in Colombo on 15 December, has disappeared. Mr Navakrishnan, who worked in a telecommunication centre, had been deported from Poland in May 1999. Colombo human rights agency, the Forum for Human Dignity has complained to the Committee of Inquiry into Undue Arrest and Harassment (CIUAH), that Colombo resident Sinnathamby Nadarajah, 63, is missing since 28 December.

Reports say that the Norwegian Justice Ministry suspended deportations of Sri Lankan asylum seekers in mid-December. Norwegian lawyers say 69 Tamils were returned from Norway to Sri Lanka between October 1998 and December 1999.

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