was produced dated 23 August 1999. He arrived in Switzerland on 29 March
2.4 The complainant’s application for asylum in Switzerland, filed on 30 March
1999, was turned down on 18 August 1999. On 10 December 1999, in response
to an appeal lodged by the complainant on 21 September 1999, the Swiss
Appeal Commission on Asylum Matters upheld the original decision to refuse
asylum. The complainant was given until 15 January 2000 to leave the country,
but, on 10 January 2000, requested an extension of the deadline on health
grounds. On 20 January 2000, the Federal Office for Refugees found that those
grounds did not justify postponement, but decided to extend the deadline until
15 February 2000 to allow the author time to prepare his departure.
3.1 The complainant states that his return to Sri Lanka would heighten the
suspicions of the local police that he was a member of the Tamil Tigers, so that
he would be in danger of being summarily arrested and tortured on arrival in
Colombo. According to the complainant, there is no doubt that any Sri Lankan
national of Tamil origin who has fled his country after being persecuted by
government forces is more likely to be tortured if he returns to the country.
3.2 The complainant refers to a report by Amnesty International dated 1 June
1999, according to which acts of torture carried out by the security forces are
reported on an almost daily basis in the context of the armed conflict with the
LTTE. According to the report, the problem also extends to routine policing,
with police officers regularly torturing criminal suspects. Thus, again according
to the same source, despite existing legal safeguards, torture continues to be
practised with relative impunity.
3.3 The complainant concludes that the argument that the persecution he had
suffered was not serious enough to entitle him to asylum is worthless when set
against the persecution that undoubtedly awaits him if he returns to Sri Lanka.
3.4 The complainant adds that he has been suffering from pleural tuberculosis
since May 1999. He states that he received anti-tubercular treatment between
May and December 1999 in the department of chest medicine at the teaching
hospital of the canton of Vaud, Switzerland. According to the complainant, the
doctors in this department believe that his clinical progress should be monitored
over the next two years, as the medical condition from which he is suffering
must be considered serious. The complainant claims that essential emergency
medical treatment might be necessary and that hospital conditions in Sri Lanka,
notwithstanding the contrary view of the Swiss Appeal Commission on Asylum
Matters, would not permit appropriate medical treatment.