Sri Lankan man deported from Japan files lawsuit

UntitledA Sri Lankan man deported from Japan has accused immigration officials of lying and denying him a chance to contest the rejection of his refugee application in court, The Asahi Shimbun reported today.

The man in his 30s filed a lawsuit at Nagoya District Court on August 2. He is seeking 3.3 million yen ($32,000) in compensation from the central Government.

According to his lawyers, the man was a supporter of an opposition party in his native Sri Lanka and had received threats from people connected with the ruling party that left him fearing for his life, especially after an acquaintance was shot.

At a news conference in Japan, one of the lawyers said: “Immigration officials deported him after giving him a false explanation that he would be able to take judicial action even after he was deported.”

The man’s Japanese wife also attended the news conference.

“I want him to return to Japan,” said the woman in her 30s. “That is the strongest emotion I now have.”

The man entered Japan in July 2005 and he subsequently submitted an application to be recognized as a refugee with the Nagoya Regional Immigration Bureau. After the application was rejected, the man filed an appeal. However, he received a notice on Dec. 17, 2014, informing him the appeal had also been turned down.

The man had been consulting lawyers about filing another lawsuit to overturn the rejection of the refugee application as the law allows one to be filed within six months of an appeal being denied.

However, immigration officials refused the man’s request to contact his lawyers and promptly deported him after the notice was issued to him.

An official with the Justice Ministry’s immigration bureau said, “We cannot comment because we have not seen the lawsuit.” (Colombo Gazette)