Switzerland signs deal with Sri Lanka to repatriate refugees

SRI LANKA, ARBEITSBESUCH, SIMONETTA SOMMARUGA, MIGRATIONSZUSAMMENARBEIT, MIGRATION, MENSCHENRECHT,Swiss Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga and Sri Lankan Interior Minister Seneviratne Bandara Nawinne have signed a bilateral immigration treaty in Colombo.

It will cover, among other things, the repatriation of Sri Lankans who have to leave Switzerland, swissinfo reported.

Sommaruga, who is on a three-day visit to Sri Lanka, said the agreement would basically enshrine the current practice.

“What we are codifying with this immigration agreement are the formalities on how the repatriations are carried out,” she said on Tuesday.

Around 50,000 people from Sri Lanka live in Switzerland, mostly Tamils, who fled the island’s 30-year civil war that ended in 2009. Sri Lanka would like them to return, but certain Swiss NGOs are alarmed by the prospect, fearing people who return could be abducted, arrested or tortured.

Sommaruga rejected criticism that Switzerland was sending people to be tortured.

“As before, with this immigration treaty every person will be checked – whether they are in need of help, whether they are granted asylum and whether repatriation is possible and reasonable. Nothing has changed there,” she said.

In July, Swiss authorities announced they would apply more stringent criteria for granting Sri Lankan nationals refugee status. They believe that the situation on the ground has improved since the end of the civil war.

At the end of May 2016, 1,316 asylum applications from Sri Lankan nationals were pending at the Secretariat for Migration. In total, over 5,000 Sri Lankans have been taken in by Switzerland, of whom 3,674 have been given refugee status. A total of 1,613 have been admitted provisionally and potentially face the threat of expulsion. (Colombo Gazette)

3 COMMENTS

    • Social Welfare and there not bothered to make there own communities great, just piggy backing over other nations work and migrate. When things dont work they play the race card and yell human rights. The whole irony is they base their lifestyle on the caste system. The tamil christians think they are superior to the hindus. And they both think there superior to the muslims. Ever seen a muslim play a important part of LTTE or GTF? Dont deny it, u know it true.

      • WEST accept Sinhala crimes against Tamils. How many Sinhala criminals punished for the crimes in 1983 riots under the “Malayalee” Jayawardene’s DHARMISHTTA RULE?

        Many Sinhalese also run from Sri Lanka to Europe? Why?

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