Colombo: A group of Sri Lankan asylum
seekers were deported on Friday from Britain despite protests from
rights campaigners, officials said.
Around 26 of them, including two women were accompanied
by a security contingent of 30 British officials on a special
chartered flight that arrived here today.
The group includes member from Sinhalese, Tamil and
Muslim communities, officials added.
Mostly Sri Lankan Tamils left the country in large
numbers with the outbreak of hostilities between the LTTE and
government forces since 1983.
The returnees were subject to recording of statements by
Sri Lankan law agency officials at the airport.
Human Rights campaigners protested what they termed as
forced expulsion of them, some of them said to be having links
with the LTTE.
The rights groups claimed that they risked their lives
back in Sri Lanka.
But the British authorities said the deportations were
carried out as they were satisfied that the individuals had no
protection issues as the situation in Sri Lanka improved since
the end of the war with the LTTE two years ago.
Although there have been instances of failed asylum
seekers returning individually, instances such as today`s
where large groups had been forced to return are rare in the
history of the island`s conflict, officials added.