Sept 03, Colombo: Sri Lanka is preparing to deport at least 60 Pakistani asylum seekers after a court gave permission to send them back to the country they fled.
The Pakistani asylum seekers, who had been detained at the Boossa detention camp in Galle pending court decision, have been released from the camps yesterday and sent to temporary accommodation in preparation for their deportation, the Press Trust of India reported.
Officials said the government had agreed for their release from detention.
The Court of Appeals on Monday hearing a petition filed by an aggrieved Pakistani refugee withdrew an interim order it has given earlier suspending the deportations and ruled that Sri Lanka has a right to deport foreign nationals living in the country without visas.
The court had agreed with the Deputy Solicitor General's arguments that there is evidence of Pakistani asylum seekers committing crimes and they are a threat to national security.
The court hearing the petition of a refugee issued an injunction on August 15 halting the deportations until August 29 and then extended it until September 01.
The petitioner, Anila Imran, in her petition told the court that Pakistani authorities persecute Christians and Shia Muslims in the Ahamandi region and they had arrived in Sri Lanka seeking protection. She has requested the court to stop sending them back to Pakistan.
The UNHCR said Sri Lanka's deportation of the refugees back to the places where they fled from is a violation of international law and called on the Sri Lankan government to immediately halt deportations.
According to the UNHCR, Sri Lanka is bound by observance of the of non-refoulement law which prohibits the return of refugees to territory where they face danger.