Detention, Torture in Sri Lanka, Tamil returnees at risk, says TAG report
Tamils Against Genocide (TAG-UK), in a report released this week, provides supporting evidence from several successful judicial opinions in the UK of Tamil asylum applicants on claims of being subjected to torture in Sri Lanka, asylum interviews by UK Border Agency, and exclusive Medico-Legal Reports, concludes that Tamil returnees to Sri Lanka face "likelihood of torture in association with initial arrest and detention" and the returnees are subjected to "brutal interrogation techniques," and called for a "comprehensive re-evaluation of the UK government’s current policy towards asylum applicants of Eezham Tamil origin.
Referring to two asylum and Immigration Tribunal proceedings referred to as TK and LP, the report says, "[w]e observe that post-2009 new factors impacting the political repression of Tamils returning from abroad have emerged that were not foreseen in the analysis of TK and the existing body of country guidance. These include a post-2009 upsurge in Singhalese nationalism and in anti-Western and anti-British rhetoric, as noted by the Foreign Office in 2012. There has also been a noticeable increase in hostility towards local and international critics of the Sri Lankan government’s alleged committing of mass atrocities during the final phases of the conflict."
The report adds that TAG is of the view that "the LP/TK risk factor of ‘a previous record as an actual or suspected LTTE member’ has been superseded in importance in the case of persons returning from abroad by a new risk factor, namely ‘a record of criticizing or protesting against the Sri Lankan government’.
"Similarly the risk factor ‘return from a ‘centre of LTTE activity or fund-raising’ should be refined to refer to ‘return from a country whose government or media have been critical of the Sri Lankan government and/or have called for progress towards accountability and reform," the report contends.
TAG is a US-registered activist organization seeks judicial redress to Tamils affected by Sri Lanka’s war.