UNHCR to conduct thorough checks on Sri Lankan refugees

unhrefugees The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has stated that a close and full examination of all facts is needed following the detention of Tamil Tigers members bearing the commission’s cards.

“Refugee protection is not extended to individuals who have committed very serious crime, or act contrary to the purposes of the United Nations.

“Given the seriousness of these issues, a close and full examination of all facts would need to be undertaken,” UNHCR spokesperson Yante Ismail said yesterday in response to the arrests of three Sri Lankan men believed to be members of the defunct separatist militant organisation, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), also known as Tamil Tigers.

The men were found to have been issued with UNHCR cards. Yante said the organisation would not comment specifically on the case as “it is our policy everywhere in the world not to publicly discuss individual cases”.

“If there are allegations of crime committed in Malaysia by refugees or asylum-seekers, UNHCR would expect that they be subjected to the full due process under the law like any other person,” she added.

According to reports, the Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division is hunting for more suspected members of LTTE, believed to be hiding in the country since 2004, after three Sri Lankans were arrested on May 15 in raids conducted here and in Klang.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar had said that they were using Malaysia as a base to secure funds, spread their propaganda and were attempting to revive the group. (The Star)

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