In the course of a military offensive conducted in the north of the
country in 1987, 1 a landmine exploded near his family's house and some
soldiers were killed. As a result, the author was detained for 20 days,
tortured and deprived of family visits. In 1988, the anti-LTTE group EPRLF,
operating in collusion with the Sri Lankan army, came to the author's school
and warned the students against supporting the LTTE. The author was singled
out, brought to a EPRLF camp and tortured before he was released. In 1989,
clashes between Tamil militants and the Sri Lankan army resulted in frequent
shelling and aerial bombings in the area of Manipay. The author's family
house was destroyed and the family became displaced, living in different
refugee camps in the region.
Subsequently, the author started working in Colombo as a computer
instructor. He was again forced to assist the LTTE and was detained several
times and interrogated. In 1994 he was caught up in a cordon and search
operation and held in detention for 17 days together with eight other Tamils.
The author states that he was kept in a dark room except during interrogation,
when strong lights were flashed upon his face. The author was allegedly
beaten, not given proper food and subjected to sleep deprivation. He had to
sleep on the floor, but as soon as he fell asleep buckets of water were thrown
over him to keep him awake. The detainees were subsequently released with a
The author states that after this incident, he tried to discontinue his
association with the LTTE, but the organization's demands did not cease. He
did not dare to report anything to the police for fear of reprisals against
his family in Jaffna. He assisted in the purchase of computer equipment and
other materials. In early 1997 he was contacted by an LTTE member who
requested him to provide accommodation for the night. The man left early the
next morning but was later arrested by the police, to whom he revealed the
author's name. The author states that the police came to his workplace.
Suspecting that they were searching for him, he managed to leave unseen.
Fearing that his activities had become known to the authorities, the author
contacted an agent who arranged for his travel to Australia via Singapore with
a false passport.
The author arrived in Australia on 17 March 1997 and applied for a
protection visa on 21 March 1997. The application was rejected by the
Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs on 3 June 1997. The
Refugee Review Tribunal (RRT) turned down his appeal on 28 July 1997.
Subsequent appeals, including an application based on new information and a
psychological assessment report, were considered inadmissible by the
Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, the Minister of
Immigration and Multicultural Affairs and the Federal Court.
The author fears that he will be arrested, tortured and killed by the
army if he returns to his country. He argues that he has attracted the
attention of the Sri Lankan police, military and pro-Government militant
groups as a suspected supporter or member of the LTTE. In view of his past
experiences, including torture, he cannot ask for the protection of the
Sri Lankan authorities. He therefore submits that his forced return to
Sri Lanka would constitute a violation by Australia of article 3 of the