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Sri Lanka Plans to Deport 1,500 Pakistani and Afghan Refugees

Categories: South Asia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Development, Governance, Human Rights, Humanitarian Response, International Relations, Politics, Refugees, War & Conflict
A Christian man stands inside his destroyed house in Gojra town. Image by Muhammad Tahir. Copyright Demotix (4/8/2009) [1]

A Christian man stands inside his destroyed house in Gojra, Pakistan. Image by Muhammad Tahir. Copyright Demotix (4/8/2009)

Facing persecution in Pakistan [2], many Ahmadiyya Muslims and Christians [3] have taken refuge in Sri Lanka. These refugees are mostly held in Boossa and Mirihana detention centers and have to live on government-provided rations as they are not eligible for work.

According to the media [4], the Sri Lankan government is preparing to deport about 1,450 Pakistani and 50 Afghan refugees who have apparently fled to rural areas in Sri Lanka. More than 1,400 of the targeted refugees have been registered as asylum seekers at the UN refugee agency office in Colombo.

Human Rights Watch [5] has requested the Sri Lankan government not to summarily deport these minorities. Meanwhile, Pakistan has disowned these refugees [6] and an uncertain future awaits for them if they are deported.

W3Lanka English blog [7] opines:

The practice of deporting them is very unethical. They can be economic migrants per se the claim of the Pakistan government. What if they are actually threatened people?