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Expatriates urged to return

Does Sri Lanka Need A TRC?

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They come in unmarked white vans. The people they take are never seen again. Human rights groups say one person is taken this way every 5 days. Leena Manimekalai met the families of Sri Lanka's disappeared. Who are Sri Lanka's diosappeared http!"""news"sri$lank... More on Sri Lanka and %H&'M ()*+!http!"""news"chogm$()... Sign up for Snowmail, your daily preview of what is on %hannel # -ews, sent straight to your in.o/, here!http!"""pu.lic"sn... Missed %hannel # -ews %atch up on the last seven days here!http!"""news"catch$up" %hannel # -ews weather forecast, with Liam 0utton!http!"""weather" 1ll the latest .log posts from the %hannel # -ews on$screen talent!http!"""news"

Expatriates urged to return

December 23, 2013 The Government today urged expatriate Sri Lankans from all ommunities to return to Sri Lanka no! that the ountry has over ome the pro"lems it fa ed in the past and is poised for rapid and e#uita"le gro!th$ Speaking at the %&ork in Sri Lanka Conferen e '()*+ at the Ta, Samudra hotel todaythe Se retary of Defen e and .r"an Development Gota"haya Ra,apaksa said the Government is very keen on reating an environment ondu ive for kno!ledge !orkers and other professionals to live and !ork in Sri Lanka$

Due to the un ertain situation that prevailed in the ountry from the )/0(s until '((/ many of our "est and "rightest left Sri Lanka to seek greener pastures in other ountries$ &hether these individuals left to es ape the onfli t- pursue higher edu ation- o"tain more lu rative employment or en,oy a "etter #uality of life- their departure !as a serious loss to the nation$ No! that Sri Lanka has over ome the pro"lems it fa ed in the past and is poised for rapid and e#uita"le gro!th- the time is ripe for expatriate Sri Lankans from all ommunities to onsider oming "a k home-1 he said$ Ra,apaksa also said that in Colom"o- a lot of !ork has "een done in the re ent past to address the many issues that the ity fa ed due to its organi gro!th over the last fe! de ades$ The Government is shifting its administrative fun tions to the Sri 2aya!ardenepura area- so that Colom"o !ill have more spa e in !hi h to gro! as a !orld3 lass ommer ial hu"$ 4ld infrastru ture that had "een largely negle ted- su h as the anal net!ork and the drainage and se!erage systems- is "eing improved$ 5lans are in pla e to augment and improve the effi ien y of !ater supply distri"ution and ele tri ity transmission$ 6anagement of muni ipal solid !aste is another area that has re eived onsidera"le attention in the re ent past$ Studies are presently "eing ondu ted on ho! to address this issue su essfully in the long term$ 7e also said that there studies "eing ondu ted !ith a vie! to easing traffi ongestion in the ity- !ith the introdu tion of a mass transit system "eing seriously onsidered as a solution$ 8Colom"o Ga9ette:

Asylum policies are extensions of Sri Lankas repression

Editorial-Tamil Guardian 16 January 2013
During a recent high profile visit to Colombo, Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr announced that his country would be pumping millions of dollars into Sri Lan a, as part of a concerted effort to stem the ever rising flow of asylum see ers, comprising almost entirely of !amils, from the island" Measures included providing surveillance training and e#uipment for the Sri Lan an $avy and intelligence services" By reducing the %problem& to one of insufficient surveillance and security, these measures ignore the pervasive and deepening conditions of repression that compel increasingly desperate to flee" Furthermore by funding and supporting the Sri Lan an $avy, accused of shelling hospitals and civilians, Australia has chosen a policy described by one of its former diplomats as%siding with genocide&" $ot only is Australia fundamentally disregarding its international obligations on human rights, but is an active partner in Sri Lan a&s repression" And it is not the only western state" 'n widely reported comments during his visit, Minister Carr blithely

dismissed asylum see ers fleeing the island as %economic migrants"& !his claim, enthusiastically grasped and repeated by the Sri Lan an state, cruelly belittles the utter desperation of the refugees and the perilous (ourneys they are willing to underta e" )ac ed into dangerously dilapidated boats on (ourneys lasting thousands of miles, and paying e*tortionate sums, asylum see ers ris arrest and torture by the Sri Lan an $avy to reach foreign shores, where they then face indefinite detention in camps described as %unbearable& by the +$ human rights chief" Strengthening the Sri Lan an state&s %capacity& without addressing the institutionalised racism at its core will not resolve the issue of asylum boats" Far from being %wea & or %lac ing& capacity the Sri Lan an state has robust and well developed institutional structures, bac ed and funded by generous donor assistance" 't is precisely because of this that Sri Lan a has been able to successfully prosecute genocidal repression for several decades, through both overt violence and more subtle administrative and economic means of demographic change and e*clusion" Strengthening the Sri Lan an state will not therefore stem the flow of asylum see ers but merely deepen the conditions of repression that drives them" For e*ample, Australia&s promised funding for rural pro(ects and schools will simply enable Sri Lan an&s pro(ect of erecting a permanent militari,ed Sinhala domination of !amil spea ing areas" 'nevitably, more !amils will see to flee" 't is no accident that the recent %rise& in asylum boats ta es place amid the collapse of the last hopes of a %post-conflict& improvement in security and freedom" Moreover, Australia&s asylum policy is in mar ed contrast with its position at the +$ .uman /ights Council" 0hilst diplomats in 1eneva continue to deplore the state of human rights in Sri Lan a, bureaucrats in Canberra deport refugees bac to the very oppression their colleagues are condemning" Australia is not of course alone in this hypocrisy" Canada, while vocal in its condemnation of the lac of accountability and reconciliation in post war Sri Lan a, nevertheless continues to deny asylum see ers refuge and treats !amil %boat people& with hostility and suspicion" Britain is similarly implacably deporting !amil asylum see ers to Sri Lan a" 'n well documented cases many of these people, tortured and se*ually abused on arrival in Sri Lan a, have again managed to escape and have since been granted asylum in the +2" Despite this clear evidence, deportations continue and returnees are sent bac to an uncertain fate with nothing to rely on but a piece of paper with the British .igh Commission&s number"

0hilst refusing to accept the accounts of asylum see ers, these countries have nevertheless (oined international efforts to pressure Sri Lan a over its abysmal and deteriorating rights record" 0estern democracies, including Britain, Australia and Canada have also been insistent on the need for Sri Lan a to engage in an internationally recognised process to investigate and account for the grave war crimes committed during final stages of the war" !he star contradiction between these two positions 3 criticising Sri Lan a&s abuses whilst deporting abuse victims and potential war crimes witnesses 3 dilutes and undermines the credibility of international calls for accountability and reconciliation" As long as western states continue to deny refuge to the victims of Sri Lan a&s abuses, the regime in Colombo has little need to ta e heed of international pressure" 'n short, unless western states start to ta e seriously their own international obligations towards human rights refugees fleeing Sri Lan a&s persecution, their efforts to elicit accountability, reconciliation and sustainable peace there are guaranteed to fail" !he hypocrisy inherent in the contradiction between asylum policies and commitments to human rights must end" At present, western asylum regimes serve as direct e*tensions of Sri Lan a&s repression of the !amils"