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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2679

Thailand ready to deport Sri Lankan detainees

Bangkok, 28 July, ( Thai Immigration authorities have confirmed that they will deport the 113 Sri Lankans held in three detention centres back to Sri Lanka provided air tickets from Bangkok to Colombo and valid travel documents are issued to them.

It is learnt that all most all those Sri Lankans held in Thailand have overstayed their visas and many of them are listed as illegal entrants into the country as they have neither valid passports nor visas to prove that they entered the country legally.

In the meantime, Wimal de Silva, Charge de Affaires of the Sri Lanka Embassy in Thailand and his staffs met with Police Lt. Col. Jarut Saruttayaporn the Deputy Superintendent of Immigration, and another Immigration Commander on Tuesday.

He told Asian Tribune that Thai Immigration authorities are still continuing with the inquiries of those Sri Lankans arrested and held in the detention Centres.

He said that the majority of them arrested are Tamils and under the age of 35 years and many of the arrested and held in the detention centre are not willing to return back to Sri Lanka.

Neither party has yet resolved the issue of who will pay for the air ticket of those willing to return. Another issue that has to be resolved is whether they would be issued with temporary travel document by the Sri Lanka Embassy in Bangkok.

When Asian Tribune asked Wimal De Silva whether the Sri Lanka Embassy staff had visited those held in the Thai Immigration Detention Centre in Bangkok, he replied in the negative.

He said that he had gone either alone or with his staff to meet a few who are held in the remand prison outside Bangkok. Other than that he said the Sri Lanka Embassy staffs have not visited the detention centres to meet and speak with those detainees.

The Sri Lanka Foreign Missions have come under fire for not serving the interests of Sri Lankans abroad. Even after terrorist activities are internationalized, Sri Lankan missions abroad have not been revamped to meet the new challenges faced by it.

President Mahinda Rajapakse too summoned the diplomatic heads and urged them to get out of the cocktail circuit and serve the larger interests of the nation. But the foreign missions continue to be run by staffs who look more like promoted chief clerks rather than skilled diplomats.

Many of Sri Lankan Embassies have turned out be a mere training ground for retirement of aging politicians and cronies of the ruling party. In contrast to the lethargic and the indifferent attitude of the Foreign Ministry the unofficial representatives of the Tamil Tigers who run their own lobbying missions abroad have proved to be streets ahead.

- Asian Tribune -

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