செவ்வாய், 12 ஜூலை, 2016

Eezham Tamils fleeing persecution expose ICE-nexus with genocidal Sri Lanka

Eezham Tamils fleeing persecution expose ICE-nexus with genocidal Sri Lanka

[TamilNet, Sunday, 10 July 2016, 23:14 GMT]
On 15th of June, Indonesian authorities apprehended 44 Eezham Tamils en route to Australia in a fishing trawler in the eastern province of Aceh. Indonesian officials prohibited the refugees from disembarking upon Indonesian soil stating that they were not eligible for asylum. During one incident, as five Tamil women attempted to disembark, Indonesian authorities were reported to have fired gunshots in the air. Pictures emerged, with one of the Eelam Tamil women in tears mimicking with her hand a gun pointed to her head. The silence from the International Community of Establishment (ICE) was ‘demonstrated’ when Colombo’s officials through a UN body visited Indonesia in order to negotiate the return of the refugees back to Colombo’s military rule, from which they were fleeing.

The refugees had set off on a perilous journey to Australia from India, and had been aboard the boat for over three weeks crossing over 17 000 km when weather difficulties led them astray in the waters of Aceh. Fishermen in Aceh noted the boat on the 11th of June and reported it to the Indonesian Authorities.

The ICE, primarily aligned with the USA, whether represented through the UN or international NGOs, callously silence the material conditions of continued military occupation and oppression by Colombo that collectively subjugates Eezham Tamils in the island, Tamil rights activists in the island commented.

The Indonesian authorities have stated that they intend to return the fleeing Tamils back to genocidal Sri Lanka, or to at least drive the boat off of Indonesia’s waters.

As part of ICE’s lip service to the US-orchestrated new regime in Colombo, corporate media and ‘global think-tanks’ postulate the mantra that the Maithripala regime is promoting ‘good governance’, accountability for Tamils, and is ‘slowly but surely’ developing North-East in the island.

“Giving legitimacy to Tamil refugees implies giving credence to the causes which force Tamils to flee. That is why the Indonesian authorities have gone to the extent of pointing guns on fleeing Tamils” a diaspora activist in Australia involved in seeking international protection of fleeing Tamil refugees told TamilNet.

“The reality of the matter is that without a realisation of the causes and measures issued to arrest them, there will be no casement of Tamil refugees. Rather than accommodating the fears and statements of Tamils, corporate media conditioned by US geopolitics, harps on the ‘good intentions’ and ‘changes’ undertaken by the Maithiripala regime in reporting the situation of Tamil refugees,” the activist told TamilNet.

Eezham Tamils have consistently been fleeing from the structures of ‘Sri Lanka’. At the same time, those at the helm of the affairs of international scrutiny conveniently ignore the institutional persecution of Tamils in the island. Subsequently an international legitimacy is upheld pertaining to ‘democratic’ nature of the Sri Lankan State to the effect of denying or silencing the oppression and dispossession of Eezham Tamils.

Tamils have been fleeing genocidal processes machinated by the unitary state of Sri Lanka en masse since the late 1970s, and during and in the aftermath of 2009 genocidal onslaught, hundreds of Tamils fled by sea to neighbouring countries, to Australia and even to Canada.

Australia was a prime location for the Tamil refugees, yet the previous Australian government led by Prime Minister Tony Abbot in liaison with Colombo, initiated callous processes to apprehend fleeing Tamils on sea outside the maritime borders of Australia and detain them in off-shore centres in Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and Nauru.

There were also collaborations between the navies of both countries, with Australia providing finance and training to ‘Sri Lankan’ authorities in order to prevent Tamils from escaping from the island.

This illustrates the direct involvement of the Australian State in extending the genocidal oppression levied by Colombo against Tamils, even in apprehending those fleeing the island.

Meanwhile, the Tamil Refugee Council in Australia told media and authorities in Australia, that many of the refugees apprehended in Aceh have been previously tortured by the Sri Lankan authorities and would face further persecution if returned.

The TRC has publicly released a statement from an Eezham Tamil refugee who had fled the island aftermath of 2009 genocidal onslaught. The statement details the sexual abuse and torture subjected to him as well as two others presently on the Boat apprehended in Aceh.

The full statement is reproduced below:

TRC STATEMENT FROM “KARIKALAN” 22 06 16

A STATEMENT FROM “KARIKALAN”, A TAMIL ASYLUM-SEEKER WHO IS NOW A PERMANENT AUSTRALIAN RESIDENT, LIVING AND WORKING AS A LABORER IN MELBOURNE.

HE CAME HERE BY BOAT FROM INDIA IN 2010 AND WAS SUCCESSFUL IN HIS ASYLUM CLAIM.

SOME OF HIS FRIENDS ARE AMONG THE 44 TAMILS BEING HELD IN INDONESIA, AWAITING RELEASE TO CONTINUE TO SAIL TO AUSTRALIA TO CLAIM ASYLUM.

HE SAID HE IS HAPPY TO SPEAK OUT TO HELP HIS FRIENDS, WHO, HE FEARS, MAY BE SENT BACK TO TORTURE BY THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT.

“If these people are sent back they face certain incarceration and probable torture. Many of them have Tamil Tiger connections, as I do. That makes you a prime target for the authorities.

“I know several of them have already been tortured in Sri Lanka. This is the reason they originally fled Sri Lanka for India. But they were not safe there because the Indian government harasses and jails anyone with links to LTTE.”

Karikalan also detailed the difficulties undergone by fleeing Tamils, to mobilize the necessary means to finance their fleeing.

“They fled Velankanni in Tamil Nadu, India in the first week of May on a boat they had bought themselves. The people on the boat pooled borrowed money from friends and families to buy it. Since January, many of them had come from Sri Lanka in small groups and gathered together.

One man on the boat, Wasanth*, who is from Killinochchi, became my friend during our time in jail in Sri Lanka. His wife, Anathi,* who is with him on the boat, along with their two year old son, was arrested with us in 2005. They weren’t married, or together, at the time.

We were political prisoners with Tamil Tiger connections. My two brothers were killed fighting for the Tamil Tigers.

We were all held for six months in jail in the CID building in Colombo. We were tortured on the fourth floor of the building. For the first three months, every second day they would take us for investigation. Our heads were shaved, both men and women. They would hang us upside down while interrogating us.

We watched each other being tortured. They would strip us naked and then beat us on the feet and body and put our heads in plastic bags that had had petrol in them. They would jam our fingers in a drawer and then beat them with a hammer. Once swollen they would pull out the nails with pliars. They would often beat us until we became unconscious.

Both Wasanth and I had teeth pulled out by pliars. They pulled one bottom tooth on either side of my mouth. They couldn’t get the roots out. They broke the teeth. I finally got them fixed when I came to Australia.

There was a lot of sexual torture. At one time they gave me an injection into my penis. The same thing happened to Wasanth. We are both severely damaged there now. I have no feeling there anymore, although he tells me he’s a little better there.

Anathi was tortured and sexually abused. They did things like insert boiled eggs into her vagina. I was there. I saw it. They made me watch. They stripped both of us naked. The men doing this then put their penises into her mouth. Later she told me she was also raped when I wasn’t there.

After six months, Wasanth and Anathi were taken to Welikade prison until 2012. I was taken to Anuradhapura prison and was released on bail in 2008. I went to India but it wasn’t safe for me. I then left for Australia.”

Related Articles:
15.11.15   Tamil genocide continues, Sirisena shows no desire for chang..
22.08.14   Australian author Trevor Grant documents genocide of Eezham ..
30.08.13   Australia’s refugee policy draws flak from UNHRC, activists
12.04.13   Australian detainees demanding release enter fifth day of hu..
23.03.13   Australia's vote at Geneva raises questions
14.03.13   Protest in Australia rejects LLRC-based US resolution, deman..
01.02.13   Refugee boat surge to Australia linked to profiteering by Ra..
28.01.13   Boycott ‘Sri Lanka Cricket’ campaign to go global
21.01.13   Australian civil society should be outraged by Sri Lankan cr..
09.01.13   ‘Australia’s foreign policy on Sri Lanka greatest sell-out i..


External Links:
The Guardian: Tamils stranded in Indonesia face 'probable torture' if returned to Sri Lanka
The Jakarta Post: NGO calls for govt to help Tamil asylum seekers stranded in Aceh