Lankapage Logo Recent Top Stories
CP 14 YEARS
Go Home Home Serving the Sri Lankan community globally since 2000
go to LankaPage.com

Leading News from Sri Lanka::

* UN calls for a full judicial review on Australia's handling of Sri Lankan asylum seekers
Tue, Jul 8, 2014, 08:26 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

July 08, Geneva: The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights today said it is deeply disturbed by the return of 41 Sri Lankan asylum seekers to Sri Lanka by Australian authorities without proper screening and called for a full judicial review on the matter.

"We are deeply disturbed that Australian authorities on Sunday returned to Sri Lanka 41 people seeking asylum, apparently without adequate screening of their protection claims and needs," spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said in a statement.

The High Commissioner said the international law requires that each and every case be properly and individually examined on its own merits.

"This is not something that can or should be done hurriedly, remotely and on the high seas, without procedural safeguards and due process guarantees for those involved."

According to the High Commissioner any returns, even from the high seas or in the territorial seas of other states, must be carried out in accordance with international law, under which refoulement and collective expulsions are strictly prohibited.

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said it is not clear whether the Australian Government has been given any assurances that the returnees will not face ill-treatment upon their return to Sri Lanka, nor is it clear how the Australian Government plans to monitor their treatment.

A Sri Lankan court today remanded five of the 41 asylum seekers and released 27 on bail while acquitting the minors under the age of 16. The five remanded by the court are believed to be the people smugglers.

The OHCHR welcomed the High Court of Australia’s issuance of an interim injunction against the return of 153 other Sri Lankan asylum seekers, reportedly including 37 children, intercepted by Australian authorities.

"We understand that since their interception more than a week ago, the individuals on this vessel have not been able to make contact with family members or refugee organizations," the OHCHR said in its statement.

"We hope the matter will be subject to a full judicial review in light of Australia's obligations under international law, including the principle of non-refoulement under the 1951 Refugee Convention, the Convention against Torture, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child," the UN agency said.

The Australian government, consistently defending the decision to return the 41 asylum seekers without screening them on land as a measure to deter the people smugglers, said that it will continue to act in accordance with its international obligations, including applicable international conventions and to protect the safety of life at sea.

ColomboPage - Recent 10 Stories
Sri Lanka PM says those who spread false rumors on proposed constitution attempt to destabilize the country
-- [39 minutes ago]
Main reason for breaking down of the economy is the colossal debt crisis - JVP leader
-- [1 hour and 13 minutes ago]
Interest in Luxury yacht building and marina development in Sri Lanka is rising
-- [1 hour and 43 minutes ago]
Joint opposition to protest LG election delay
-- [2 hours ago]
Iran, Sri Lanka sign extradition treaty
-- [2 hours ago]
Large gap in household incomes between Sri Lanka's urban, rural and estate sectors
-- [9 hours ago]
OPV provided by India Coast Guard to Sri Lanka Navy commissioned as Sri Lanka Coast Guard Ship Suraksha
Sri Lankan Government to grant over 3,700 permanent houses to hill country plantation community this year
Sri Lanka and Samoa propose to protect the Blue Shark at global migratory species conference
Ven. Arambepola Rathanasara Thera remanded until the 30th

Copyright © 2000, 2014 by LankaPage.com (LLC) :
The news and other contents on ColomboPage are copyrighted property of LankaPage.com, LLC. Any unauthorized use of any information on ColomboPage may constitute a violation of copyright laws. You need written permission to reproduce, republish, post, transmit, broadcast or distribute, material from this site from LankaPage.com, LLC. However, news organizations or broadcasters in Sri Lanka may republish the news items in ColomboPage with proper acknowledgment to ColomboPage.