Australian Intelligence assessment leaves refugees in limbo

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 13 January 2010, 16:00 GMT]
The rejection for asylum of 5 Tamil refugees, including a mother and two children, by the Australian Government due to undisclosed ‘security fears’ has left them in limbo amid a game of "political football" say human rights advocates, who have urged the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) to reveal its security assessment, citing past failures by the organisation.

The group, who had recently been detained en-route to Australia by customs officials before being moved to an offshore detention centre must now seek another country for refuge, despite being declared as genuine refugees by the UNHCR.

"What I can say is that it's crucial that there be independent scrutiny of any assessments by ASIO, because the fact is that ASIO has made some serious mistakes in the past in these sorts of cases” said refugee lawyer and advocate David Manne in an interview with Australian media.

Manne, who helped free two Iraqis held at another offshore detention facility on the grounds of negative assessments by ASIO (Australian Security Intelligence Organisation) in 2006, called for an urgent overhaul of the review process, saying that those in question were not given any indication of the accusations being made against them, nor an opportunity to challenge the findings.

"They [the assessment] can result in many, many years of detention for people who are very vulnerable and may well have already experienced significant trauma in their lives" Manne told reporters.

Although ASIO has refused to divulge the security assessment of the 5 refugees, media circles and politicans have assumed possible links with the LTTE, a fact which some argue should be seen within context and ultimately dismissed when assessing claims of asylum.

"Most of the people who have lived in the north or eastern region of Sri Lankan and even in the south-eastern province could easily have had some kind of contact, linkages to the Tamil Tigers over a period of time" said Dr Martin Mulligan from RMIT University in Melbourne.

"We really have to show a little generosity here and understand the past in where these people may have lived in situations where the Tamil Tigers may have been in control of a whole area" he said in an interview.


Related Articles:
12.01.10   Australia urged to assess refugee claims without external in..
17.12.09   Boat people are refugees from Sri Lanka - UNHCR

 

Latest 15 Reports
19.04.18 21:15   Photo
JUSU urges Tamils to mark Mu'l'livaaykkaal Remembrance in its true spirit of uprising
18.04.18 23:03  
Cooray emerges as broker of civil contracts to occupying Sinhala military in North
17.04.18 23:31  
SL Resettlement Ministry twists figures on lands seized by Sinhala military in North
16.04.18 20:02  
Mano Ganesan challenged in Jaffna, politician complains of threat
15.04.18 10:13  
7 DS officials under pressure to collaborate with Sinhala colonisation schemes in Batticaloa
14.04.18 23:19  
Colombo schemes new type of subservient CSD colonies in Jaffna diverting foreign aid
13.04.18 23:18   Photo
SL military brings back paramilitary violence to control peaceful protests as NGO tricks fail
12.04.18 19:03  
SL Forest department blocks access to 300 acres of agricultural lands in Ampaa'rai
11.04.18 23:20  
Tamil political prisoner launches hunger-strike at Anuradhapura prison
10.04.18 18:19  
Genocidal Sri Lanka imposes forcible military training for CSD pre-school teachers
09.04.18 11:40   Photo
Fisheries society cautiously welcomes Court decision on fishing access to Naayaa'ru Tamils
08.04.18 23:28  
Militarisation of pre-schools akin to child soldiering: NPC Education Minister
07.04.18 21:34  
Muslim politicians block relocation of SL military base in Batticaloa
06.04.18 06:35   Photo
NPC finally awakens against SL Mahaweli Authority obstructing territorial integrity of Tamil homeland
05.04.18 16:46  
Vavuniyaa Judge warns SL Attorney General against delaying tactics on TPP cases
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=30992