Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Justice (for the dead) and dignity (for non-dead)

It is very unlikely that justice will come in time for all the internally displaced people (IDP) who are literally dying in the refugee camps in South Asia, Australia and elsewhere. At the least we should try and make sure that the survivors are able to live with dignity. 
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A 29-year-old asylum seeker...Seemanpillai died of his injuries after burns to 90% of his body and is the second Sri Lankan asylum seeker to have self-immolated in Australia this year.
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But...as the bishop says...we are all one people. We must have faith in this sentiment even while all over South Asia, one community after another, is trying to create high purity enclaves in which no minority voice will be tolerated.

....The resettlement process in Sri Lanka cannot move forward without India's assistance and the country can do more to help thousands of widows and children who have been rendered orphans, Bishop of Jaffna diocese Daniel S Thiagarajah said on Tuesday.

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And if we find the will-power to help Sri Lankan Tamils let us also be mindful about the Gujarati Muslims and the Kashmiri, Bengali, and Sindhi Hindus (and many others).

It would be also nice if the Pankajists spend even one percent of their ink on ALL of the forgotten South Asians (Hindus mainly). Arundhati Roy has even claimed that the India has let the Pandit refugees suffer on purpose so as to discredit Kashmiri muslims. She needs to grow up and remove her ideological blinkers.

 
Not to diminish the suicides noted above, it is women who suffer the most from such adverse social dynamics. They suffer during war and they suffer during peace. They suffer because men (collectively, individually) act as if deprived of any conscience whatsoever.

To our elites one simple message: stop bickering and start governing. Maintain law and order and provide the basic amenities of life. Stop purchasing submarines and aircraft carriers till you can stop the society from sinking into the mud. Above all stop polarizing communities against each other for petty gain. 
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A 29-year-old asylum seeker who died after setting himself on fire has been named as Leo Seemanpillai, a Tamil man who lived in Geelong, Victoria.
Seemanpillai died of his injuries after burns to 90% of his body and is the second Sri Lankan asylum seeker to have self-immolated in Australia this year.
The Tamil Refugee Council said Seemanpillai had set himself alight on Saturday evening and died on Sunday morning at Alfred Hospital.

Seemanpillai arrived in Darwin by boat in January 2013 and was said to be suffering depression for more than a year. He was being held in community detention on a bridging visa with work rights. His refugee claim was still being processed, Scott Morrison said on Monday.

Arasa Ratnakanthan, a Sri Lankan refugee activist who spoke to Seemanpillai’s flatmate on Monday morning, said the asylum seeker had left Sri Lanka in the early 1990s aged just three or four.
Ratnakanthan said Leo had spent more than 20 years as a refugee in India and had tried to return to Sri Lanka in 2002 but had been persecuted by the Sri Lankan military and so had returned to India.
Ratnakanthan said Leo’s family had been members of the Tamil political movement.

The Australian government has close diplomatic ties with Sri Lanka and many Sri Lankan asylum seekers have been subject to a fast track “enhanced screening” process, which human rights groups say denies them due process as many have their claims assessed without the presence of a lawyer before being returned. More than 1,000 Sri Lankans have been returned by Australia in recent years.

Seemanpillai was not subject to the enhanced screening process, but in October the immigration minister warned Sri Lankan asylum seekers who planned to enter Australia by boat: “Anyone who may have come from Sri Lanka should know that they will go back to Sri Lanka.”

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The resettlement process in Sri Lanka cannot move forward without India's assistance and the country can do more to help thousands of widows and children who have been rendered orphans, Bishop of Jaffna diocese Daniel S Thiagarajah said on Tuesday.

He said the Church of South India has set up a centre in Jaffna to help those who witnessed the war and to help them overcome their fear.

He stressed that the church was focusing on the well-being of all people in the country. "We are all one people. Ahead of us is a challenging task of rehabilitation of our people who have gone through the darkest period in our history," he said.


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Link (1): http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/02/asylum-seeker-who-set-himself-on-fire-spent-18-months-in-limbo

Link (2): http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Jaffna-bishop-says-Sri-Lanka-requires-Indias-help-for-resettlement-of-Tamils/articleshow/36010366.cms
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regards