Colombo: A group of failed Sri Lankan asylum
seekers, mostly Tamils, arrived here on Wednesday after being
deported from the UK, amid concerns about their safety by a
top global rights group.
A total of 52 people arrived on a chartered flight from
the UK. This was the third such flight of deportees from the
UK since December last year.
The flight departed London despite concerns raised by the
New York-based rights watch group Human Rights Watch (HRW),
which had called on the UK to suspend the deportation of
Tamils and immediately review its policy on the rights
situation in Sri Lanka.
The HRW said it had documented cases of abuse that
previous returnees had been allegedly subjected to by the Sri
The British Foreign Office had said the government only
sends people back to Sri Lanka when they and the courts are
satisfied that an individual had no protection needs upon
The Foreign Office had noted that a ruling from the
European Court of Human Rights had said that not all Tamil
asylum-seekers required protection. Also that there had been
no substantiated allegations of mistreatment of those returned
from the UK.
A large number of the island nation`s Tamils fled
overseas, mostly to Western nations and India, in the wake of
the conflict between the government and LTTE in the mid-1980s.