Facebook icon
Twitter icon
e-mail icon

Following failure at deporting Tamils, British Home Secretary meets with Sri Lankan High Commissioner to discuss ‘security and migration’

British Home Secretary, Priti Patel, met with Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to the UK, Saroja Sirisena, to discuss “shared issues of security and migration”.

The meeting follows heavy of the Home Office for serious failures which have put Tamil asylum seekers at risk of deportation and left one Tamil without formal immigration status for almost 40 years.

Last May, the British Upper Tribunal ruled against the Home Secretary and in favour of two Tamil asylum seekers in the case known as KK & RS vs the Home Secretary. The case centred on the asylum appeal of two Tamil refugees who were detained by Sri Lanka’s security forces and subject to torture. The Home Office rejected their claims and alleged that they were not at risk of abuse upon returning to Sri Lanka as they were not high-profile figures. The Tribunal rejected the Home Office’s claim and recognised the risk of arrest and torture Tamil activists continue to face in Sri Lanka. Responding to the ruling the Home Secretary tried to overturn the court ruling but had her appeal rejected last month.

The International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) has documented 178 credible cases of torture from 2015-2018, excluding 22 individuals abroad who reported torture following the UN special investigation. A further report detailed the testimonies of 15 Tamils who were abducted and tortured since Gotabaya Rajapaksa assumed the office of the President in 2019.

Read more here: How a landmark British ruling may save Tamil activists from deportation to Sri Lanka

Following the Tribunal ruling the Home Office has since amended its guidance to reflect the threat of torture in Sri Lanka.

Patel’s meeting follows a high-profile diplomatic visit to the island from Britain’s minister for South Asia, Lord Ahmad, and a widely condemned meeting between Britain’s Foreign Minister, Liz Truss, and her Sri Lankan counterpart GL Peiris.


Prominent opposition MPs took to Twitter in outrage of the meeting and the failure to raise human rights issues on the island, which Patel has also seemingly failed to do.

We need your support

Sri Lanka is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist. Tamil journalists are particularly at threat, with at least 41 media workers known to have been killed by the Sri Lankan state or its paramilitaries during and after the armed conflict.

Despite the risks, our team on the ground remain committed to providing detailed and accurate reporting of developments in the Tamil homeland, across the island and around the world, as well as providing expert analysis and insight from the Tamil point of view

We need your support in keeping our journalism going. Support our work today.

For more ways to donate visit https://donate.tamilguardian.com.