The first Tamil asylum seeker to be deported from Australia since the end of the 2009 massacre, Dayan Anthony, has withdrawn all claims of torture and mistreatment by Sri Lankan authorities , immediately after being released from 16 hours of interrogation in Sri Lankan police custody.
Mr Anthony was released from Sri Lankan police custody and was presented at a media conference, warning of the ‘dangers’ of getting involved with people smugglers.
Despite being made to attend a media conference immediately after 16 hours of interrogation, Mr Anthony insisted that he had been ‘well-treated’ by the Sri Lankan police custody.
Mr Anthony initially said he had been kidnapped and tortured in 2009 after being forced into one of Sri Lanka’s infamous white vans, and was seeking asylum in Australia before his deportation.
Speaking to a UN special rapporteur on torture last year, he gave credible evidence of torture and claimed that he still suffered pains from the incidents.
Under the gaze of the Sri Lankan authority, Mr Anthony has fully withdrawn all claims of torture.
Speaking to The Australian, Mr Anthony said, “I don’t have a back problem, I don’t have psychological problems. I’m okay. I feel okay.”
He went on to say, that Australia was a racist country and the white Australia policy remained a truism.
The Australia Tamil Congress spokesman, Dr Bala Vigneswaran, conveyed deep concern at the current situation, stating that it was obvious that Mr Anthony had been coached by Sri Lankan officials during the marathon interrogation.
Speaking on the issue he said, "They coach people before they put people to public media. It should look obvious to normal thinking people, that this sounds fishy.”
“When you read through the lines, you can see there are issues. And why would you need 16 hours for interrogation, if the person is making up stories?”
The spokesman for the Refugee Action Coalition, Ian Rintoul, said the sudden withdrawals by Mr Anthony of his past claims were ‘suspicious’.
Ian Rintoul echoed the Australian Tamil Congress’ view. Rintoul said, “I think it’s fairly clear that any recantation is a result of duress”
Mr Anthony was deported from Australia amidst grave concerns about his safety and mental stability, with several human rights organisations condemning the decision.