Advance unedited version CAT/C/60/D/716/2015

2.3

On 18 May 2012, the complainant arrived at Christmas Island, Australia, by boat without a
valid visa. He was detained upon arrival as an illegal maritime arrival under the Australian
Migration Act.

2.4

On 27 August 2012, the complainant filed an application for a protection visa before the
Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIC). He alleged that if deported to Sri Lanka,
he would be persecuted by the CID, other authorities and persons of Muslim faith. He
referred to the events that he allegedly went through prior to his departure and maintained
that many Tamils were killed; that there were frequent round ups of Tamils and
interrogations about their knowledge of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)
stockpiles of arms activities; that he had been rounded up 4 times since 2010; that he would
be persecuted as failed asylum seeker who left Sri Lanka unlawfully; and that, against this
background he would not be protected by the Sri Lankan authorities because of his Tamil
ethnicity. On 8 September 2012, his legal representative added as a ground for asylum that
the complainant would be accused of having links with the LTTE since he was a Tamil
from the militarized East, an area with a history of LTTE presence and support.

2.5

On 27 September 2012, the complainant was granted a bridging visa by the DIC and
released from detention.

2.6

On 1 March 2013, the DIC rejected the complainant’s request for protection visa. It found
his accounts to be confusing and contradictory. In particular, the alleged incidents of
attacks by Muslims had been fabricated or embellished for the occasion. The DIC noted
that the complainant and his family lived in the same home in Miravodai since 2005,
without incidents; and found no plausible that they had been targeted by local Muslims or
authorities in 2011 or 2012. The DIC also found that the complainant did not face a real
risk of harm if returned to Sri Lanka on account of his ethnicity or any real or imputed
connections to the LTTE. In support of this finding, it considered relevant country
information,2 which did not indicate that Tamils in Sri Lanka face persecution purely on
account of ethnicity. It further stated that although the complainant alleged that he had been
“rounded up” and questioned by the Sri Lanka authorities regarding LTTE stockpiling of
munitions between 2010-2011, he had never been suspected of having any association with
the LTTE or similar groups, and that neither he nor his family had ever had any contact
with such groups. Likewise, the DIC concluded that the complainant would not be at risk of
torture as failed asylum seeker upon arrival at the airport or in his village. Although reports
indicated that Tamil failed asylum seekers had been questioned on their return to Sri Lanka
upon arrival at the Colombo airport and that some had been detained; those with
connections to the LTTE or links with Tamil nationalist politics were the ones particularly
targeted by the Terrorist Investigation Department.3 Finally it also stated that there were no
grounds for believing that he might be at risk of torture if returned due to the fact that he
left Sri Lanka unlawfully.

2.7

The complainant appealed the DIC’s decision before the Refugee Review Tribunal (RRT)
and reiterated his previous allegations. Notably he argued that his family was not associated
with the LTTE but some members of the community were; and that for this reason his
father was questioned on several occasions by the authorities between 2007 and 2008.
During the proceedings the complainant provided documents in support of his claims, such

2

The DIC’s decision refers inter alia to UNHCR, ​Eligibility Guidelines for Assessing the International
Protection Needs of Asylum Seekers from Sri Lanka, 5 July 2010; US Department of State, ​Country
Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2011, ​Sri Lanka, 24 May 2012; Danish Immigration Service
Fact Finding Report, Human Rights and Security Issues concerning Tamils in Sri Lanka, October
2010.
The CID’s decision refers to UK Country of Origin Information (COI) report of 7 March 2012;
Human Rights Watch, ​UK: Suspend Deportations of Tamils to Sri Lanka, 29 May 2012.

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