Tamil Tigers join race for asylum
A SENIOR member of the Australian Tamil community says former Tamil Tiger fighters are definitely among the influx of boatpeople to arrive on our shores.
Australasian Federation of Tamil Associations secretary Victor Rajakulendran said the high proportion of young men on the boats, coupled with the risks faced by the Tigers in Sri Lanka, made it certain some arrivals were members of the defeated Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.
Dr Rajakulendran's remarks came as the Australian Customs vessel Oceanic Viking prepared, after a week at sea, to land today 78 Tamils at the Indonesian detention centre in Tanjung Pinan.
Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor on Saturday revealed 68 adult males on board had commenced a hunger strike in protest at being kept from Australia.
Late yesterday a meeting between Indonesian immigration, police and foreign affairs officials was co-ordinating the arrival of the Viking passengers, including a 12-year-old girl requiring medical assistance.
A police source said the ship would arrive at 10am local time (2pm AEDT) in the port of Kijang, where the asylum-seekers would be loaded on to buses for the 30-minute drive to Tanjung Pinang.
The news came as the Immigration Department prepared to extend the boundaries of Christmas Island's detention centre to cope with the influx of arrivals, including 32 Tamils believed to have sailed directly from Sri Lanka.
Sources told The Australian that officials were concerned the arrival of the boat heralded a new tactic, with people-smugglers seeking to avoid the Indonesian archipelago due to the success of Australian and Indonesain authorities in interdicting asylum boats.
Were such a tactic to become routine it would render the Rudd government's "Indonesia solution" virtually redundant.
Foreign Minister Stephen Smith yesterday provided fresh details about the types of co-operation Jakarta and Canberra were considering, citing increased intelligence sharing, greater Australian support for people-smuggling disruption efforts and more funding for Indonesian detention centres.
Dr Rajakulendran said many of the Tamils fleeing Sr Lanka had had their passage funded by sympathetic Tamil communities in the West.
Most of those fleeing were young men, some of whom would be ex-fighters, Dr Rajakulendran said.
"There will be definitely, definitely they will be in these boats," he said.
"The ex-combatants are in danger in Sri Lanka so they will have to flee somewhere."
But Dr Rajakulendran said this did not make them a threat to the Australian community.
It is a known fact that the ex terrorists are trying to get out of Sri Lanka at any cost. Most of these terrorists are getting exposed in Sri Lanka, especially by their own kith and kin and the villages of former LTTE held areas, for they know what they had to go through at the hands of these so called terrorists.
China is the only country these people do not want to migrate to, because the Chinese do not tolerate these scum of the earth LTTE terrorists. Many other countries do have their share of LTTE terrorists. Denmark, Norway, Finland do have a heavy share of ex Tamil terrorists and LTTE supporters. The UK, Australia, Canada, Germany and France can boast of hosting LTTE terrorists.
Dr. Rajakulendran says that these terrorists will not be a threat to the Australian community. Perhaps, yes. But, it will not be for too long. Why do we put a race horse to sleep after his racing days are over? Because, its the only thing he knows. Likewise, these terrorists will only be thinking of the benefits they experienced with terrorism. -
If Australia wants to rehabilitate and keep these terrorists, so be it. Perhaps, Sri Lanka should be able to send many more thousands of terrorists, officially to Australia for rehab and then to enjoy asylum there.
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Colombo, Western, Sri Lanka