28 May 2017
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  • » 08/08/2014, 00.00

    SRI LANKA

    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 authorities.

    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 protection".

     

     

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    See also

    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
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    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.



    19/12/2005 AFGHANISTAN
    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.





    Editor's choices

    VATICAN
    Pope: together with the faithful in China on 24 May to celebrate Our Lady of Sheshan



    During the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis speaks about the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, instituted by Benedict XVI. Chinese Catholics must make a “personal contribution to communion among believers and to harmony in the whole society." AsiaNews Symposium on the Church in China is set for this week. Francis appeals for peace in the Central African Republic, and for loving “one another following the example of the Lord”. For him, “Sometimes conflicts, pride, envy, and divisions leave a blotch on the beautiful face of the Church.” Five new cardinals will be named, including a bishop from Laos.


    VATICAN-CHINA
    May 24, 2017: 'China, the Cross is Red', AsiaNews Symposium

    Bernardo Cervellera

    The event will be held to mark the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. A title with many meanings: the Cross is red from the blood of the martyrs; From attempts to suffocate the faith with state control; Bceause of the contribution of hope that Christianity gives to a population tired of materialism and consumerism that is seeking new moral criteria. The theme is also about the great and unexpected religious rebirth in the country. Guests to include: Card. Pietro Parolin, Msgr. Savio Hon, the sociologist of religions Richard Madsen, the testimonies of Chinese priests and laity.


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