Torture of ex-Asylum-Seekers in Lanka: SBS, Corlett and Sooka train their gunsights on Sri Lanka

Dateline: ‘Turned back to torture’ …. by David Corlett & Kristina Kukolja, 30 September 2014

CORLETT on Dateline --Torture in SL

Source: World News Radio,  30 Sep 2014 – 1:24 PM  UPDATED 30 Sep 2014 – 5:14 PM …

Serious claims of abduction and abuse at the hands of Sri Lankan authorities are emerging from asylum seekers returned from Australia. The allegations will be explored in a special investigation by Dr David Corlett, to be aired on SBS’ Dateline program. Then, in a live cross, the claims will be put to the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Australia.

Dr Corlett, the presenter of SBS’ Go Back To Where You Came From series, is speaking to Kristina Kukolja about his undercover report. …..  Click on the audio tab above to hear the full report).

A Note: This video report and commentary has to be taken seriously … and addressed together with the Sooka Report and that of the International Crimes Evidence Project presented as “Island of Impunity?” by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre in Sydney. With Island of Impunity? one has prima facie indications of bias and dishonesty as soon as one glances at the footnote citations (given the absence of a bibliography). There has been no attempt to study the literature on the war and the cross-examination of the UN Panel ‘s Report (one that also involved Yasmin Sooka) produced by the Marga think tank or the exhaustive study called The Numbers Game by IDAG…. and a whole range of other articles in the public realm including mine (where some can now be accessed via Tamil Person and State (Colombo, Vijitha Yapa Publications, 2014, ISBN  978-955-665-230-7 and ISBN 978-955-665-231-4).

There is no evidence that SBS and Corlett undertook homework in examining previous documentaries on the topic of returnees and/or asylum-seekers or such stories as that of David Anthony or quick-visit-work by Australian reporters such as Ben Doherty.

david anthony David Anthony in Lanka

anthony Sujith -SMH-Ben doherty returnee from article by Ben Doherty

While a fuller bibliography up to mid-2012 can be found in my “A Flourishing Bibliographical Tree: Tamil Migration, Asylum-Seekers and Australia” (see an abbreviated one is provided below. However, this preliminary notification of the SBS documentary is m presented here in order to promote comment and self-reflection — especially within Sri Lanka.

a-seekers-Daily Tel Aussie border control search asylum-seekers


ABC 2012 “Sri Lanka still unsafe,” 20 September 2012,

Bolt, Andrew 2009 “How the Greens deceive on boat people,” 2 November 2009,

Bolt, Andrew 2009 “It’s Rudd’s fatal shore,” Herald Sun, 6 November 2009,’s-rudd’s-fatal-shore/story-e6frfhgf-1225794867198

CNN 2010 “Exclusive: On board the Tamil asylum boat,” January 2010,

Centre for the Study of Interventionism 2014 “The CSI Position Paper on the Sooka Report,” 29 April 2014,

Davis, Mark 2013 “Sri Lanka’s New Wave,” 28 August 2013, E:\ASYLUM Seekers\SBS on A-Seekers\SBS Dateline aug 28 2012.mht

Doherty, Ben 2011 “Lost in translation: Tamil refugees in India and their dangerous gambles,”

Doherty, Ben 2012 “Tamils: why we get on boats,” Sydney Morning Herald, 21 July 2012,

Flitton, Daniel 2012 “Fears for deported man,” The Age, 26 July 2012,

Hodge, Amanda 2012 ‘Tortured’ Tamil put on a plane back to Sri Lanka,” Australian, 26 July (with Stuart Rintoul)

Hodge, Amanda 2012 “Deported Tamil recants tales of torture,” Weekend Australian, 28/29 July 2012,

Marga 2011 Truth and Accountability. The Last Stages of the War in Sri Lanka,

Nadesan, Noel 2011 “Media and the suffering of the Tamil people — Noel Nadesan’s Open Letter to Australians,”

Perera, Amantha 2010 “Untangling the Knotty Issue of Human Smuggling,” 31 October 2010, news.asp?idnews=49245

Perera, Suvendrini 2009 “Who’s Hearing The People Smuggling ‘Message’? 15 December 2009,

Puvenitharan, Bhakthi 2010 “Tamils for Green?”18 August 2010, http//

Roberts, Michael 2010b “Aussies swallow Lies and Rajapaksas miss a Trick,” 31 Oct. 2010,

Roberts, Michael 2012 “Australian Gullibility: forgeries, lies and manipulation in the netherworld of in-migration, 26 July 2012,

Roberts, Michael 2012 “Amanda Hodge adds twist to Dayan Anthony’s tale,” 28 July 2012,

SBS 2013 “Sri Lanka’s New Wave,” 28 August 2013, E:\ASYLUM Seekers\SBS on A-Seekers\SBS Dateline aug 28 2012.mht

Seneviratne, Kalinga 2009 “Western Media Gullibility makes Asylum-seeking Good Business,” Tempo, 3 November 2009, pp. 36-37.

[Sooka, Yasmin et al] 2014 “An Unfinished War: Torture and Sexual Violence in Sri Lanka 2009-2014,”


Leave a comment

Filed under accountability, asylum-seekers, atrocities, Australian culture, australian media, authoritarian regimes, economic processes, historical interpretation, life stories, LTTE, politIcal discourse, security, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, Tamil migration, truth as casualty of war, world events & processes

Leave a Reply