Human rights and asylum seeker advocates are condemning a decision to employ a former Sri Lankan military officer as the acting operations manager of the Manus Island detention centre.
“It’s completely inappropriate for anyone with links to the Sri Lankan military to be in charge of the welfare and well-being of vulnerable asylum seekers, including Tamils….There’s a high likelihood that the Tamils being held there are fleeing persecution at the hands of the Sri Lankan military. This isn’t about the activities of this one man. It’s about [the] way that Australia takes care of the asylum seekers who are in its custody. The placing of an ex-military commander from a source country for refugees like Sri Lanka highlights Australia’s complete insensitivity to the very real risks and suffering that those asylum seekers are fleeing.”