The refugee status of over 800 asylum seekers in Sri Lanka have been cleared, the Government said today.
State Minister of Finance Eran Wickremeratne told Parliament today that there are 1698 asylum seekers currently in Sri Lanka.
Of them, he said that of the 1698 asylum seekers the applications of 869 have been cleared for refugee status.
He said that the applications of around 40 have been rejected and they will be repatriated within the next few weeks.
The Minister said that Sri Lanka must look at the asylum seekers as people fleeing persecution in their own countries.
“These people have come here as ethnic and religious minorities. The information on them is available with the defence authorities. They have been cleared by the defence authorities,” the Minister asserted.
The Minister also said that those cleared for refugee status have already been accepted by the United States, UK, Canada and several other countries.
Wickremeratne said that the Government is working with the UN system to deal with the remaining asylum seekers.
Mostly Afghan and Pakistani asylum seekers are currently in Sri Lanka. (Colombo Gazette)