2ND LEAD

New refugee vessels head for Australia from Jaffna, Vanni

[TamilNet, Sunday, 08 July 2012, 20:05 GMT]
Agents involved in human trafficking, backed by influential ministers and personalities of the Rajapaksa government in Colombo, are exploiting the plight of already victimized Tamil youth in the North and East, to brave the Indian Ocean, making a 15-day journey towards Australia in search of a safe life than the genocide designed for them in the island, informed sources in Vadamaraadchi told TamilNet Sunday. A deep-sea fishing vessel has left Inparuddi of Vadamaraadchi, four days ago, carrying at least 15 Tamil youth. Another 20 members have been recruited and the next group is expected to leave the coast of Jaffna or Mullaiththeevu in a couple of days, the sources further said.

Each deep sea fishing boat coasts around 2.5 million rupees.

15 to 25 youths are sent in each group. Each passenger is charged 1 million.

At least 200,000 rupees has to be paid by each passenger in advance to the agents, before going on board the vessel. This way, the human traffickers secure their risk free income in advance, regardless of the security of the passengers.

The remaining 800,000 has to be paid by the member of the family residing in the island in SL military control once those on board reach the coast of Australia. The agents are well-connected to the SL military.

The families of the youth facing harassment by the SL military are prepared to take the risk of sending their sons and daughters through the dangerous route away from the island.

Political personalities in Colombo organise financing of the vessels through Sri Lankan banks and recruit asylum-seeking crew-members from the already affected section of Eezham Tamils in the North and East.

Those on board are advised to destroy their vessel once they spot the Australian coast guard so that they are not instructed to return in the same vessel, informed sources further said.

Similar trafficking through deep-sea fishing vessels was also taking place from Negombo, Chilaapam (Chilaw) and Puththa'lam, the sources added.

According to earlier reports, SL president's son Namal Rajapaksa was involved in the human trafficking from Vanni.

His involvement in the latest trafficking is not known, but the sources were able to confirm that they had high-level backing in Colombo.

The SL Navy has been instructed to give green signal to the vessels by the political figures in Colombo, is what the agents who have stepped up their campaign in recent weeks in Jaffna and Vanni, tell their clients who are subjected to structural genocide and exploitation by the occupying SL military and Colombo's corporate agents.

It is not known whether Sinhalese are on board such boats, but the passengers are mostly Tamils from North, East and from the South.

Meanwhile, asylum seekers dying in mid-sea in ‘accidents’ on their way to Australia now raises new questions, Tamil activists in the island said.


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