Despite an increasing number of arrests by the Sri Lankan Navy, asylum seekers remain undeterred in their attempts to flee the island, reported AFP.
Tamil asylum seekers from Udappuwa who were recently arrested, told AFP,
"We will try to go again after the case is over. We just have to wait for some time."
“The future here is very bleak. We want to get out of poverty,"
Local community leader Quintus Fernando also stated that continued fishing restrictions by the navy had forced many residents to seek greener pastures elsewhere. he commented,
"It is three years after the end of the war, but fishermen are still required to get a 'pass' from the navy before setting out to sea. We can't just row out to fish."
Earlier this month, the Australian government announced that they will introduce offshore processing of refugee claims in Papua New Guinea and Nauru, a move criticised by NGOs (see here and here) and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Whilst Sri Lanka’s high commissioner to Australia welcomed the move, Navy spokesperson Kosala Warnakulasuriya slipped to the Sunday Times,
“Opening up offshore detention centres in Papua New Guinea alone will not end the issue of human trafficking.”
“The refugees believe they will have better living conditions in Papua New Guinea than in their villages in the North and East and other parts of Sri Lanka.”
Gotabhaya Rajapakse has said that the rights of Sinhalese to purchase land in the North cannot be suppressed.
According to Uthayan, Gotabhaya also declared that no province belonged to any race.
Still smarting from India's vote at the UNHRC, Sri Lanka has informed India of the decision not to devolve police powers to the provinces.
Retaliating to allegations that Sri Lanka was retreating on its promise to implement the 13th Amendment,
Following the violent scenes of Tamil 'Boycott Sri Lankan Cricket' activists being assaulted by Sri Lankan cricket fans, on Monday night outside the Oval in London, Tamil Guardian spoke to one of the organisers, Thusiyan.
University Tamil societies from across the UK have released a statement condemning the racist attacks outside the Oval on Monday.
21 Tamil societies joined together to denounce the attacks and commend the peaceful campaign of the activists,