There have been reports that 153 Tamil asylum seekers fleeing from the island of Sri Lanka might have been handed over by Australia to the genocidal Sri Lanka Navy. While there is an information blackout on the fate of the refugees, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has refused to comment on the situation. "I’m not going to comment on the operational detail of what happens on the water," he told ABC radio on Tuesday. Further, Tamil activists working on refugee issues say that they have lost all contact with this batch of asylum seekers over 3 days back.
There are about 30 children on the boat.
"Australia would ‘flagrantly’ violate the refugee convention if 153 Tamil asylum seekers on board a boat headed to Australia were sent to Sri Lanka without being allowed to lodge a claim for protection", The Guardian cited the Refugee Council of Australia on Tuesday.
Tamil activists from Australia lamented the lackadaisical approach of diaspora organizations both in Australia and in other Western countries in challenging the foreign policies of Western governments that aided and abetted genocidal Sri Lanka by open or covert means. The refugee issue cannot be seen in isolation from the structural process, they said.