False claims used to obtain asylum

The Ministry of Defence says several people in the north have managed to obtain forged documents with the assistance of public representatives indicating that they have undergone abuse and assault and need asylum overseas.

According to the Ministry of Defence one incident which has come to light involves a businessman in Jaffna who has pleaded with the Jaffna Mayor to provide him with a letter saying his that his children who are overseas faced harassment at the hands of the security forces in Sri Lanka.

However the Defence Ministry claims that the businessman, like many others, make false claims that they are being abused by the Security Forces simply to obtain visas in western countries.

“It was also revealed that the children (of the businessman) who are overseas have sought expert advices from an Attorney in that country in order to obtain an extension to their stay in overseas, where the attorney had advised that it is achievable by means of providing a written submission indicating that they face life threats from the Sri Lankan Security Forces,” the Defence Ministry said.

The businessman revealed that the procedure is a popular practice followed by many asylum seekers in Jaffna in order to reach western shores, the Defence Ministry said.

The businessman also added that a similar letter had been already obtained by him for the same purpose from one of the District officers (Grama-Sewaka Niladari) in Jaffna.