First week of 2013, asylum seeker committed suicide

A young Tamil man from Sri Lanka has committed suicide on 4th of Friday in Perth. He was on a bridging visa and was told by some that he would be deported to Sri Lanka.

RISE is not surprised by this suicide and is particularly concerned about the safety and wellbeing of Sri Lankan asylum seekers in Australia with over 850 Sri Lankan asylum seekers in the last 4 months have been refouled without being allowed to make an asylum claim, the close association of the Australian and Sri Lankan government and the constant media and political spin that implies that Sri Lankan asylum seekers are mostly economic refugees without giving them a fair chance to prove their cases. Even non-signatory to the refugee convention like India and Indonesia have not refouled such a large number of Sri Lankan asylum seekers in the last 3 years and Australia holds a record for doing so.

What is most disturbing about this racially discriminatory treatment and refoulement by Chris Bowen’s department is that the latest report by UNHCR (released in December 2012) on eligibility guidelines for asylum seekers from Sri Lanka states clearly that three years after the war officially ended in 2009, the 11th largest number of refugees in the world are from Sri Lanka, more people have started fleeing from the country and there is a decrease in Sri Lankan refugees returning voluntarily to Sri Lanka using UNHCR’s return and resettlement package. The UN CAT and UN working group of disappearances also reports that Sri Lanka has the second largest unsolved disappearances in the world.