Upon his return to Sri Lanka, the complainant lived as a pious Muslim and was a
supporter of the United National Party at several elections. He was asked to run as a
candidate for the Party in the 2010 parliamentary elections for one of the districts in the
Concurrently, because of his popularity and because the majority of people in his
village were Muslim United National Party supporters, he was also asked to run by the
United People’s Freedom Party Alliance. The latter party expected the complainant to use
his popularity among his community to win the election. The complainant refused to
participate in the election as a candidate for that party and received threats from the sitting
Member of Parliament for Kalutara District, Y, an Alliance Party member, that he would be
killed if he ran for the United National Party. As a result, the complainant decided to run as
At around 9 a.m. on 7 April 2010, the day before the elections, the complainant was
kidnapped and held at the house of a powerful supporter of Y until the end of the elections.
Upon his release the complainant went into hiding and stayed with one of his wife’s
relatives in Colombo.
The complainant claims that on 2 October 2011, he assisted his friend M with his
campaign for the mayoral elections, scheduled for 8 October 2011. When Y learned that the
complainant was helping the opposing party during the campaign, he assaulted him and
locked him in the United People’s Freedom Party Alliance office for three days. The
complainant claims that during these days he was tied to a concrete post and tortured, his
hands were burned and he was not given any food. As a consequence, he started to vomit
blood. After his release, he was treated at the National Hospital in Colombo for three days.
The complainant submits that he was constantly threatened in the following days by Y, who
visited his relatives’ houses and the complainant’s own house and asked to see him. Fearing
that he would be killed, and because of the ongoing threats from Y and Alliance members,
the complainant decided to leave Sri Lanka for Australia.
On 13 October 2011, the complainant applied for a short stay visa for the purpose of
participating in an exhibition in Sydney from 24 to 28 October 2011, for which he had been
nominated by the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka in
association with the Sri Lanka Consulate General in Sydney and Melbourne. He entered
Australia on 23 October 2011.
On 22 November 2011, the complainant started a protection visa application and
was granted an associated bridging visa. In his protection visa application he stated that he
feared being killed by supporters of United People’s Freedom Party Alliance member Y
because he did not support him in the 2010 parliamentary elections and because he had
observed the complainant publicly supporting a United National Party candidate at the
subsequent local government elections in Colombo, at which time he was abducted in
retaliation, beaten, threatened and released three days later.
The complainant’s protection visa application was rejected by the delegate of the
Minister for Immigration and Citizenship on 6 February 2013, who was not satisfied with
the overall credibility of the complainant’s claims and, consequently, did not accept them.
The delegate found, therefore, that there were no substantial grounds for believing that the
complainant would suffer a real risk of significant harm on return to Sri Lanka.
The complainant appealed the delegate’s decision to the Refugee Review Tribunal,
which upheld the original decision on 3 September 2014. On 29 September, he appealed
before the Federal Circuit Court of Australia. However, on 8 March 2016, the complainant
withdrew this application because the day before the hearing, a new barrister took the case
and advanced the opinion that there were “no prospects of success”. On 9 March, the
complainant appealed to the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection to intervene
on his behalf, but his request was rejected on 6 April. The complainant maintains that he
has thus exhausted all available domestic remedies.