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‘Sri Lanka gov fears Tamil asylum seekers might become witnesses in a war crimes tribunal’ – for...

Jul 16, 2010 10:35:24 AM- transcurrents.com

Tamil terrorist claims exaggerated

from: Radio Australia

The former spokesman for the United Nations in Colombo has accused the Sri Lankan government of branding Tamil asylum seekers as terrorists, fearing they might become witnesses in a war crimes tribunal if they are granted asylum in Australia.

The UN has established a panel to investigate whether a war crimes tribunal is appropriate in regards to the last months of Sri Lanka's civil war, which, ended early last year. Since then 1,129 Sri Lankan asylum seekers have arrived in Australia, with about 30 per cent being granted asylum, 7 per cent being refused and sent back and the rest of the cases still pending. The Australian media this week published comments by a Sri Lankan security analyst, who said up to half of all Tamil asylum seekers had links to the Tamil Tigers, and that the Tamil Tigers had links to Al Qaeda. Former UN spokesman Gordon Weiss, says those claims are false and risk inflaming the debate over immigration in Australia.

Presenter: Liam Cochrane
Speakers: Gordon Weiss, former spokesman for the United Nations in Sri Lanka

Listen: Windows Media [Radio Australia]