Thursday, May 29, 2014

Refugees need protection, not deportation

Press Statement by M Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat in Ipoh on 28th May 2014

Refugees need protection, not deportation

On May 15th 2014, three Tamil refugees were arrested and detained for 14 days for offences under the Immigration Act in Kuala Lumpur.

Later on May 25th the Inspector General of Police (IGP) told the public that the three are “terrorists” and have been deported to Sri Lanka. It has to be noted no credible evidence has been presented to substantiate this allegation despite the fact they have been branded as supporters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) by the Sri Lankan authorities.

Is the police aware that the LTTE is not a banned organization in Malaysia? This was confirmed in a parliamentary reply in 2004 to a question I raised.

The deportation is most unacceptable as Sri Lanka political leaders themselves have been alleged to have committed war crimes, genocide, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.

In the last three years, UN Humans Rights Council had adopted resolutions against Sri Lanka for having committed gross abuse of human rights against principally the Tamil minority.

In fact soon an independent inquiry will be formed to investigate possible war crimes see

In the last tail end of the civil war in Sri Lanka in 2009, it is documented and creditably reported that over 80,000 innocent civilians were massacred.

If one watches the “No Fire Zone documentary of the killing fields of Sri Lanka” as screened by Channel 4 of UK, it is undisputedly clear how deeply involved are the Sri Lankan authorities in butchering and killing of its own citizens during the war.

Malaysia is not a party to the 1951 Refugee Convention which governs the status of refugees. Notwithstanding this, international law requires a non signatory to this Convention of refugees not to deport a refugee if there is a possibility that the refugee may face torture or persecution for which Sri Lankan authorities are world famous for!     

With all these obvious and crystal wrong doings of the Sri Lankan authorities, how can our investigators suddenly label the 3 detainees as ‘terrorists”?

In fact, it is now in public domain that the Sri Lankan embassy is actively involved in our local affairs to the extent it can prevail on the IGP to act on the Embassy’s behest as in the case of Lina Henry of Komas being charged for screening no fire zone see

The three who have been deported will face torture, persecution and probably even death. Why should Malaysia intentionally assist Sri Lanka?

If the Sri Lankan authorities had said I am involved in terrorism, would I be deported to Sri Lanka too? Can ties with Sri Lanka override human right values and protection?

Human Rights Watch while condemning the deportation said “The report “We Will Teach You a Lesson” detailed 75 cases of alleged rape and sexual abuse from 2006 to 2012 in both official and secret detention centers throughout Sri Lanka. Both men and women detainees reported being raped on multiple occasions, often by several people, with the army, police, and pro-government paramilitary groups frequently participating”.

This deportation is most cruel and inhumane. Refugees once granted the UNCHR card must be accorded the necessary protection and not deportation.

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