A Sri Lankan Minister claimed that Tamil diaspora organisations were behind a “sinister political agenda” smuggling asylum seekers out of the island, in order to tarnish the Sri Lankan government’s reputation.
Mass Media and Information Minister Keheliya Rambukwella went on to state that “deportation” is the solution, according to state-run Daily News.
The Minister said that,
“the continuous outflow of boats carrying Sri Lankans as asylum seekers is no longer to be considered as an activity that has been carried out by human smugglers as a lucrative trade for mere financial gains by smugglers…
Its perpetrators have a sinister political agenda, which is unfolding as with the recent arrests made by Sri Lanka Navy with steps being taken by the government to intensify border security of the sea,”
Blaming the diaspora, the Minister further stated,
“They are doing this with the financial support of the well placed pro LTTE elements in other countries,to paint a picture to say that the country is not safe for Tamil people,”
“They have increased the number of Tamils being taken by them to Australia illegally as part of their human smuggling campaign to discredit the government in the background of the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review sessions, which the government will participate in November.”
Earlier this month, the Sydney Morning Herald examined just why so many Tamils were fleeing the island. See our earlier post: Risking death to be free from Sri Lanka (20 July 2012)
'Human rights should always trump short-term, partisan political interests' (01 Aug 2012)
Asylum seekers continue to attempt to flee as Navy arrests over 100 (31 July 2012)
avy intelligence calls for asylum seekers to be sent back (28 July 2012)