» 08/08/2014, 00.00
Sri Lanka, UN to government: Stop deporting Pakistani and Afghan refugees
Melani Manel Perera
The authorities justify the deportations with the increase in the number of refugees. Many of them are Christians and Muslims (Shia and Sunni) fleeing threats from religious extremists. Christian Human Rights activist: "We should face the issue in a brotherly way, we are all human beings."
Colombo (AsiaNews) - "It makes no sense to express
sympathy after deporting a group of asylum seekers who sought refuge in Sri
Lanka. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has to dialogue
with the government", Christian lawyer and human rights activist Lakshan Dias
tells AsiaNews, commenting on the
deportation - August 1 and 5 - of 36 Pakistanis, after two months spent in
detention in Colombo.
Earlier this month the Department of Immigration and
Emigration reported that Pakistani and Afghan nationals visiting Sri Lanka will
no longer receive a tourist visa before arrival at the airport, and that asylum
seekers who are on the island without a long-term visa will be deported to
their countries of origin.
The Department said that the operation provides for the
repatriation of 147 Pakistanis and 85 Afghans arrested by Sri Lankan
The many asylum seekers include many Christians and Shiite and
Sunni Muslims, fleeing from Pakistan and Afghanistan because threatened by
religious extremists. "The Taliban are killing us," says a young
Afghan to AsiaNews. "We can no
longer live there in a peaceful manner and that's why we came to Sri Lanka, in
order then to move to another country."
"We should not forget - Lakshan Dias tells AsiaNews - there are at least 4 million
Sri Lankans abroad in search of protection as refugees. These Pakistanis who
have come to seek protection for their lives are not an intolerable burden for
Sri Lanka . We must address this issue with a sense of brotherhood, because we
are all human beings".
The UN agency has urged the Sri Lankan government to stop
the deportations and allow them to meet with refugees and asylum seekers still
detained in Colombo, to assess their conditions.
UNHCR spokeswoman Arane Rummery says: "We understand
that the recent actions of the Sri Lankan government have been in response to
the increase in the number of asylum seekers. However, we are unable to monitor their return
conditions, and appeal to the Sri Lankan authorities to respect the principle
of non-refoulement by not sending people back to a place where their lives
could be in danger without the opportunity to assess their needs for international
04/02/2016 09:37:00 AUSTRALIA
Australian churches offer themselves as a "sanctuary for refugees" who risk deportation
The High Court rules "legitimate" the government's decision to move hundreds of migrants on the island of Nauru, where there are some prisons that "host" asylum seekers. Christian communities in the country offer their facilities to prevent deportation. The executive: "The Christians have the right to think whatever they want, but they are not above the law." Thousands march for migrants.
12/01/2011 SWEDEN - IRAQ
Baghdad wants to stop the forced return of Iraqis from Europe
Standoff between Iraq and European country to guarantee immigrants rights. The Stockholm government continues policy of forced return. Iraqi ambassador calls for dialogue with the governments of the Old Continent.
25/03/2014 SRI LANKA - UN
Geneva, 5 thousand Sri Lankans protest against UN human rights resolution
Representatives of the Sri Lankan community in Europe stage a protest outside the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) headquarters. The group asks for Sri Lanka to be given "time to solve its internal problems" related to the process of reconciliation after the Civil War.
02/12/2016 18:04:00 AFGHANISTAN
UN reports more than half a million displaced people in Afghanistan, a record
Since 2014 the number of internally displaced persons has more than doubled, reaching 518,000. Pakistan has sent back more than 600,000 Afghan refugees. UN agency says it has received only 54 per cent of the US$ 152 million in emergency funding.
New parliament inaugurated after 30 years of violence
The inaugural session has ushered in a new rebuilding phase in Afghanistan. However many analysts accuse Kabul of not doing enough against warlords' illicit activities and for respect of human rights.
Card. Tong’s article on China-Holy See dialogue, arouses joy and dismay
The Hong Kong bishop’s optimism over a change in the method of appointing bishops and the function of the Patriotic Association. But it is unclear whether it is real change or just nominal, in words. Underground bishops are patriotic and love their country, but the Party is suspicious of them. Freedom in episcopal appointments is “essential", but the bishops are not free to exercise their ministry. Patriotic bishops controlled in their visits with members of the universal Church. The "bugs" (hidden microphones) in a bishop’s office.
Card. Tong: The future of Sino-Vatican dialogue from an ecclesiological point of view
Card. John Tong
The Hong Kong Cardinal outlines the steps that hope to propel dialogue between China and the Holy See. Themes include the Pope's role in the appointment of bishops; A change of vision in the Patriotic Association; the possible integration of the underground bishops in the Episcopal Conference. A new article by card. John Tong, following a previous article published a few months ago on "Communion of the Church in China with the universal Church."
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