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
10.07.20 00:05   Photo
SL Police harasses Shivajilingam at 25th Remembrance of Navaali massacre in Jaffna
09.07.20 09:33  
SL Navy brutally assaults Tamil fishers in Mullaith-theevu
08.07.20 16:33   Photo
Sinhala colonists encroach into Kangku-veali, Mean-kamam reservoirs in Trincomalee
07.07.20 19:36   Photo
Colombo schemes to expand ilmenite scooping into North from Pulmoaddai in East
06.07.20 19:06  
Colombo transfers Tamil Political Prisoners to notorious Anuradhapura prison
05.07.20 23:06   Photo
University students, Shivajilingam brave SL harassment to commemorate fallen Black Tigers
04.07.20 22:28   Photo
Monk commanding Sinhala-Buddhicisation of North-East threatens Tamil villagers in Batticaloa
03.07.20 19:28   Photo
After Naavat-kuzhi, Colombo targets Poonakari for Sinhala colonisation across Jaffna lagoon
02.07.20 22:26  
Colombo imposes restrictions on Tamil valour related symbolism in schools of North
01.07.20 13:22  
New secret unit among four SL military and police squads competing to arrest Tamil youth in North
30.06.20 22:10  
Tamils blocked from accessing properties near SL Navy training base in Champoor, Trincomalee
29.06.20 23:29   Photo
Moragoda advising Gotabaya prompts Sinhala parties to scrap Provincial Councils
28.06.20 22:06  
India privileging BRIC/RIC over Quad ‘discordant’, says former US top diplomat
27.06.20 22:11  
Indo-Pacific expert wants US to seek opportunities in ‘Sri Lanka’
26.06.20 21:24  
Russia steps up influence on New Delhi to uphold “multilateralism” against US “rules-based order”
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=30992