No Way Out of Lanka: Refugees stymied … Contrasting Tales

ONE = “Deported Lankan asylum seekers arrested,”  Item in Daily News, 12 September 2018

The CID had arrested nine Sri Lankan men yesterday when they arrived in the country having been deported from Australia. They were produced before the Negombo Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

The Police Media Spokesman’s office told the Daily News that the nine men who had gone to Australia at various stages and had claimed refugee status had been deported by the Australian Government on a special charted flight yesterday. Upon their arrival, the CID had taken the men into custody. They are in the age group of 27, 29, 36 and 48 years and are residents of Munalama, Kochchikade, Udappuwa, Chillaw, Vavuniya, Batticaloa and Trincomalee, the police said.

According to the Guardian, the Sri Lankan asylum seekers had been forcibly deported back to Sri Lanka, having been put on a specially chartered jet that left Perth at 2am yesterday. Some of the men deported had been in detention for more than six years in Australia, while others still had challenges before Australian courts pending.

Guardian Australia has been provided with details of some of those returned but has chosen not to name them out of concern for their safety. Several had reported to Australian authorities they had previously been abducted and tortured by security forces in Sri Lanka.

The asylum seekers were transported from detention centres across Australia and taken to Perth, from where they were flown out on a charter flight run by Skytraders.

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TWO =“Ninety Lankans heading to Reunion Island intercepted by Navy,” Island, 11 September 2018,

Naval personnel attached to the Fast Attack Craft belonging to the Western Naval Command yesterday apprehended 90 Sri Lankans who were heading to Reunion Island on a trawler.

The navy was conducting a routine patrol to curb transnational crime in the territorial waters of the country in the sea about 40 nautical miles West of Negombo. “The two Fast Attack Craft on patrol hurried to the location and when navy personnel searched the trawler they found 90 Sri Lankans attempting to reach the Reunion Island illegally. Among the suspects were 89 men and 01 woman,” the Navy said in a statement. It has been discovered that those in the boat are residents of Batticoloa, Thoduwawa, Udappuwa, Chilaw, Mannar, Ampara and Matale. The suspects were brought to the Colombo harbour where they were given medical treatment.

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