A story on Burmese Tamil refugees who were displaced to Manipur, India, following a coup in the 1960s that led to race riots against ‘Indians’. Hundreds of Jaffna Tamils, who were brought to Burma as part of the British colonial apparatus, were also affected and returned to Ceylon in the wake of the violence. They are remembered as Rangun Tamils.
“When they reached the border crossing, Burmese soldiers prevented them from entering the country. The Tamils settled in Moreh hoping one day to return to their homeland – but those dreams have never been fulfilled.”
This is for the refugee mothers whose second name became I-yearn-to-die post-flight.
This is for the refugee mother who could never become a mother because she died too early in transit. This is for the refugee mother who saw her children swallowed by borders. This is for the refugee mother who had a miscarriage because of the stress of fleeing.
Suren Karththikesu remembers the cheers when migrants on board the MV Sun Sea first spotted the Canadian flag. The 492 Sri Lankan Tamils had been at sea for three months, on a dangerous voyage across the Pacific Ocean. The flag, hung from a navy vessel that would help escort the Sun Sea to the British Columbia shore five years ago this week, offered the passengers new lives away from the civil war that had ravaged their home country.
“Sri Lanka’s police arrested 35 suspected Tamil asylum seekers off the coast near Weligama, in the south of the country, Xinhua reported. The Tamils, aged between 30 and 40, are all resident in the Northern Province towns of Jaffna, Mankulam, Chavakacheri, Olumadu, Vavuniya, Mullaitivu, Oddusuddan and Mallavi. According to Xinhua, the arrests on Wednesday were the first of Tamils attempting to flee the country since the new government of Maithripala Sirisena came into power in January. Police said the Tamils were preparing to sail to another country when they were spotted by the navy.”
“About16,000 children born to Sri Lankan refugees in India are stateless since they do not have Sri Lankan citizenship and enjoy a mere refugee status.”
Many of us who never physically crossed any borders were yet born as refugees, asylum seekers and stateless people in foreign countries, as was I. Unlike me, however, most of these children will remain stateless for much of their life, if not all of it. For some it may take ten years, for others it may take a whole life to become ‘human’.
Opens PDF: Statement from Refugee Council of Australia.
“Australia risks committing the most flagrant of all breaches under the Refugee Convention if it removes Tamil asylum seekers off Christmas Island to Sri Lanka without investigating their claims for refugee status, the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) said today.”
“The mention of an LTTE resurgence has the political effect of reminding the [Sri Lankan] people of the Rajapaksha victory against the LTTE, and as a consequence, their continuing relevance at the helm of the security apparatus,” said Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, executive director of the Center for Policy Alternatives in Colombo. “It also has the effect of delegitimizing the UN resolution on the grounds that the LTTE is still alive and needs to be combatted.”
Read full article via: http://www.ucanews.com/news/anger-after-malaysia-returns-refugees-to-sri-lanka/71033