(PRWEB) February 06, 2012
The Ministry of Refugees, IDPs, and POWs of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) finds it rather hard to believe that all of the of the Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka have agreed to return to the country that persecutes them. As stated on February 3, 2012 in the Republique Togolais “Togo Minister of Security Gnama Latta stated ‘What do you do, we will not deport these people. We have shown humanity. Togo has a tradition of hospitality. We have received while waiting to see how to resolve their plight.’”
According to the ‘Daily Times,’ “the International Organization of Migration (IOM) stated that 164 of the group have decided to accept voluntary return and reintegration. They include nine who have already departed; the 28 who will depart on today and 45 who have signed voluntary return declaration forms…” Online Times also reported Mr. Dissasanayake of the Sri Lankan Embassy in Cairo, Egypt stating “our embassy is in touch with the authorities in Togo, and it is a matter of time that the group will be able to return to the country.”
The TGTE Ministry claims “this is far from the truth, as the refugees have not only been ill-treated and harassed in the detention center, but were forced to sign documents by Sri Lankan agents to return back from whence they came. Furthermore, the Ministry also stated, “we believe that since Togos actions have been exposed, they are trying to sugar coat the situation by stating that they will not deport the refugees, but, instead will have them to sign releases stating that they will return back to Sri Lanka.” The Ministry also stated, “It is highly questionable as to why Togo denied the UNHCR access to the refugees after December 25, 2011.”
Canadian officials have also joined in with the ‘parley.’ While Prime Minister Harper stated that the Canadian government will boycott the upcoming Common Wealth Summit in Sri Lanka, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews is currently in Togo negotiating the return of Sri Lankan refugees back to Sri Lanka. However, according to the Ottawa Citizen, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, stated “they fled Sri Lanka following the country’s recent civil war, and fear they may be killed if they’re made to return to their homeland. We will continue to work with allies overseas and ensure that human smugglers do not involve themselves and criminally take advantage of unfortunate people.” The TGTE Ministry, also, asks Toew, if he was really concerned about the welfare of the Tamil refugees, why he doesn’t allow them to seek asylum in Canada.”
According to the TGTE Ministry, through leaked sources from within the detention center, it was discovered that of the 5 to 9 who decided to return to Sri Lanka voluntarily, were planted amongst the refugees by the Sri Lankan government. According to the refugees and NGO activist groups from other countries, this has been a common practice since the end of the Sri Lankan conflict of 2009. Where after staying for a couple of months in a host country, they go report to the UNHCR or other local agencies and request to return back to Sri Lanka. This has a scheme by Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) to show the world that Sri Lanka is safe to return.”
The TGTE Ministry further stated that “the twenty or more, who were the next to leave Togo, have done so against their own will, after three individuals were tortured by Sri Lankan agents posing as the IOM. Thus, the IOM is now saying that the rest of the 164 refugees willing have decided to return back to the land they escaped from. The TGTE Ministry countered that statement asking “why would someone in the right mind take to the perilous seas or any other dangerous route to leave a country, only to decide to return from whence they came?”
The Ministry further stated that, “the bottom line is that the Tamils cannot go back to Sri Lanka since they are at risk of torture, rape, and extra-judicial killings as confirmed by Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch. The northern part of the country is virtually an open air prison for the Tamil population there. Canada should remove the Bill C-4 from Parliament, and lift the cap for 2012 for private sponsorship of refugees, as this primarily punishes those for seeking asylum. As for the international community at large, it is your duty to live up to what you call ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights.’ Stop demonizing Tamil refugees, and allow them refuge in your countries.”
The TGTE Ministry further stated “as a signatoree country, your government must adhere to the rights of refugees. They should be released in your country, and allowed to carry UNHCR cards. Furthermore, Togo is signatoree to the Rights of the Child, which includes the children and infants amongst the Tamil refugees in your country. The refugees must be either resettled in your country, which is recovering from years of dictatorship, or sent elsewhere.
The barring of the UNHCR from visiting the Tamil refugees, and denying the refugees right to communicate freely with the outside world is exactly what Sri Lanka has been doing during the past several years, by banning media, and NGOs into Tamil areas of the islands northeast. Furthermore, collaboration of your government, the IOM, and the GoSL is no different than the Gestapo of Nazi Germany during WWII.”
Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) is a democratically elected body of the Tamil Diaspora from the island of Sri Lanka. TGTE held elections in 15 countries to elect Members of Parliament. The Parliament drafted and ratified its Constitution, elected a Prime Minister, a Speaker, and 10 Cabinets consisting of 10 Ministers and Deputy Ministers.
# # #