Feb 13, Colombo: Australian authorities have ordered the deportation of a Sri Lankan LTTE suspect, who is seeking asylum in Australia, next week.
According to a report in The Guardian, the suspected LTTE member is expected despite the United Nations committee against torture requesting Australia not move him while it investigates whether he will be tortured if he is returned against his will.
The deportation order issued by the Australian Border Force for suspected LTTE asylum seeker Shantaruban says he will be deported on 22 February.
He will not be permitted any visitors at the airport when he is removed and he will be escorted on his flight to Colombo. He has refused to sign the order.
Shantaruban has fled Sri Lanka fearing repercussions from government security forces for his involvement with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). He arrived in Australia by boat in 2012. Having been released to live in the community, he was re-detained in 2015 and has remained in immigration detention since.
According to the brief before the UN committee, Shantaruban was an active and senior member of the LTTE - more commonly known as the Tamil Tigers - in particular working as a boat-builder for its naval wing, the Sea Tigers.
According to the brief before the UN committee, Shantaruban was an active and senior member of the LTTE – more commonly known as the Tamil Tigers - in particular working as a boat-builder for its naval wing, the Sea Tigers.
The UN and other governments and human rights groups have consistently raised serious concerns over the return of Tamil asylum seekers to Sri Lanka, particularly those with known links to the LTTE.
Shantaruban's claim for protection turns on his association with the LTTE, which has not been considered by Australian authorities.
Several letters attached to Shantaruban's submission - including from refugees granted protection in Australia and Sri Lankan members of parliament - declare that he was a senior member of the LTTE.
But Shantaruban was initially reluctant to reveal his connection to the Tigers when he arrived in Australia seeking asylum because he feared he would face deportation or punishment.
When Shantaruban sought to present evidence of his involvement with the LTTE, the evidence was ruled inadmissible because he had not declared it earlier.
Aran Mylvagnam from the Tamil Refugee Council said Shantaruban should be afforded the chance to re-apply for protection.
"We want the Australian government not to go ahead with this deportation, and to give Shantaruban another opportunity to have his case properly heard. So far the government has not been willing to review the new information."