Lankan asylum seeker commits suicide
A Sri Lankan asylum seeker committed suicide at the weekend while living in the community in Perth, the Immigration Department has confirmed.
The WA Coroner will examine the death of the Tamil man, who is believed to have a wife and possibly a child in Sri Lanka.
The department declined to say whether the man had been told his asylum application had been rejected and he was to be deported.
News of the death comes as another 76 boat people are on their way to Darwin for processing after HMAS Childers intercepted their vessel south-east of Ashmore Reef at the weekend.
It is unknown when the man arrived in Australia but it is believed to be before the Gillard Government announced on August 13 the reopening of detention camps on Nauru and Manus Island.
Only boat people who arrived after that date are eligible to be sent overseas for processing.
The Government has also recently deported hundreds of Sri Lankan boat people within days of their arrival, saying they are economic migrants and not genuine refugees.
An Immigration Department spokeswoman did not confirm the man’s identity but said he had been living lawfully in the community on a visa and died in hospital on Saturday.
“He was admitted following an act of self-harm,” she said. “The department extends its sympathy to the man’s family and friends.”
It is unclear whether the man had been told he was going to be deported to Sri Lanka but Victoria Martin-Iverson, of the Refugee Rights Action Network, said he was “terrified” at the possibility he could be sent back.
Another refugee advocate said the man might have also been suffering anxiety after being separated from his family for so long.
Ms Martin-Iverson said the Immigration Department needed to support asylum seekers better once they were released.
“People are being abandoned without any appropriate support,” she said.
_The West Australian _understands the man may have been living in the community on a bridging visa for a month and harmed himself on Wednesday.
His body is likely to be cremated in Australia and his ashes returned to Sri Lanka.
The Government has allowed asylum seekers to live in the community while their claims are assessed – 10,336 have been given bridging visas to live in the community since November 2011.
Source: The West.com
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These people are economic refugees giving SL a bad name. GOSL should open better job opportunities for all SL nationals irrespective race, caste, religion etc. People seek jobs abroad due to derth of jobs in SL.
Good on you Nicholas, what you say is indeed the truth. the white elephants being created for self glorification do not create opportunity for those who will carry the debt burden.
What you say is true but “regretably it is jobs for mates at mates rates in SL. Therefore not just tamils but Sinhalese and some Muslims are coming to Australia on the “advise of sri lankan human traffickers” in the hope of a better life.
The current labor government is Julia Gillard has promised $34 million to be spent on education in Sri Lanka but God knows how that is going to stop “the boats coming”. Doesnt make sense – but then with todays labor government nothing seems to make sense anyway.
You are right. It is the indecisiveness and the lack of vision and insight of the minority labor government in Australia that is aggravating this issue.
The $34m for “education” will definitely line the pockets of the politicians and policymakers and bureaucrats in SL and will not reach those who need it most.
If Australia is serously concerned about humanitarian issues in Sri Lanka which is leading to mass exodus via the “boats”, it should do a root cause analysis of the HR situation in SL.
Australia should use its porsition in the UN Security Council to encourage the UNSG to implement the darusman Report and the Petrie Report. This will lead to an international investigation into alleged war crimes.
The Australian Lam makers could ensure of proper investigations of (1) the war crimes allegations aginst SL’s ambassador in Canberra and (2) war crime allegations against one of its own citizens who is SL’s permanenet representative in the UN.
If Australia gets as serious as the Governments in Canada and UK on HR issues in SL, the “boats” will stop forever in a year or two.
But the tottering labor government and its fossilised Foreign Minister will continue groping in the darkness.