Sri Lanka’s Economic Migrants And Their “Asylum Seeking” Preference For Western Destinations – OpEd


Just as wars have become profits for a handful while the majority end up suffering the issue of immigrants, asylum seekers, refugees and economic migrants is also a source for profit for a handful and explains why the situation is never solved though series of efforts have taken place by organizations and individuals. Be that as it may the road always leads to the fact that a handful of people have found it easy to make money from the sorrows of the majority.

EU nations over the past 2 decades have received over 6.3m requests for asylum, while Australia, New Zealand and Japan have received 107,000. There is an increasing number of refugee boats attempting to come to Australia and detention centers end up spending sometimes over $100m all taxpayers money. The number of asylum seekers found at sea off Australia is also on the rise. In 2007-8 Australia granted 6004 people refugee status. The cost of detainment per person per day on Christmas Island is $1830 while at Sydneys Villawood detention center it is $238. Australia is seeing 19% increase of asylum seeker requests. The Australian public are none too happy and it is time the Australian Government pay heed to the Australian public.

Clearly there is a need to differentiate an asylum seeker, a refugee and the rise in economic refugees. In 2011 there were 15.2m refugees worldwide including 4.8m Palestinian refugees. 80% of refugees are women and children. The largest numbers of refugees are a result of the illegal invasions and occupation by US and allied forces – Afghanistan with 2.7m, Iraq 1.4m, Somalia 1.1m, Sudan 500,000 and DRC with 491,000 in 2011. Worldwide there are 37.4milion refugees.

An “asylum seeker” according to the 1951 Refugee Convention on the Status of Refugees is a person who fears persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political belief or membership of a particular social group if he returns to his country. Thus such a person becomes an “asylum seeker” applying as a refugee.

With the rise in the current trend of US and NATO occupations there is a rise in internally displaced persons (IDP). These IDPs have had to flee their homes but remain within the country’s borders and number 26.4m. There are 2.6m IDPs in Iraq after decade of US occupation and US cares little to resettle them in their homes.

An Economic Migrant on the other hand is a person leaving his country seeking to find employment in another country. Many of “asylum seekers” of Third World nations are “economic migrants/refugees” attempting to take advantage of the asylum systems and have paid huge sums of money to people traffickers and LTTE has one of the world’s largest human smuggling networks. A question never asked is if Tamils in fear of persecution by Sri Lanka wish to flee to another nation that would embrace them why do they not choose the closest and easiest way by going to India? Why would they need to pay huge sums of money to be transported in unsuitable boats destined for nations of the West in particular Australia and Canada? India’s Tamil Nadu politicians are found speaking on the welfare of the Tamils in Sri Lanka far more than their concern for Tamils in Tamil Nadu so ideally Sri Lanka’s Tamils should seek refuge in India – why are they not, is never asked or answered. Without taking a few kilometer journey through Palk Straits why would they want to travel 5600km to seek refuge in Australia?

This is where the genuineness of these “refugees” “asylum seekers” have come to be questioned by Australians themselves who do not want to fork out their taxmoney towards maintaining detention centers when it is clear that most of these people are simply economic refugees attempting to abuse the systems through a cooked up “grievance” ticket. Is Australia willing to entertain people in boatloads who use every source of emotion to bewail their anguish and is this sufficient grounds to determine whether they are telling the truth or simply desiring to make a better living for themselves. It is poignant to note that in 1983 the bulk of those who left as “refugees” to foreign destinations were not victims but who used the confusion of the situation to apply on humanitarian grounds citing destruction to homes and property. The photos produced of destroyed homes were often not even their own – the discrimination cited on the application forms was despite their own Sinhalese friends providing them food, protection and shelter! Do these nations not wonder why it is always those Tamils who live amongst the Sinhalese who apply as refugees or asylum seekers when they have been living far more comfortably than the Sinhalese and that is proved by the rise in numbers of Tamils coming to majority Sinhala areas to live!

This is why Australia’s Deputy Opposition Leader has correctly identified the situation and declared that Sri Lanka’s asylum seekers are economic migrants though the Church and NGOs differ with the view. One such is Bishop of Mannar, Rayappu Joseph whose links to LTTE terrorists has never been hidden and was responsible for removing the Statue of Lady of Madhu and taking it to LTTE territory and even hoisted the LTTE flag in Mannar.

It is obvious that for boatloads of people to brave the seas and attempt to sail to Western destinations there is an organized racket taking place and that crime needs to be busted with the help of international agencies that are serious about dealing with the situation of human smuggling. It is not single people attempting to flee a nation because of persecution but groups of people who have obviously paid smugglers to have them transported to western nations. Unless the racket is seriously dealt with western nations will end up using their taxpayers money towards maintaining detention centers, processing applications which are most often false or bogus and then having to deport these people back to their origins again at a cost. Australia has already sent close to 800 asylum seekers back to Sri Lanka.

Over the past 3 decades Sri Lankan Tamils have used the conflict to apply as refugees and have settled in Canada, UK, Australia, France, Germany, Norway, Switzerland, Denmark, Holland, Italy and Sweden – all western nations and their applications facilitated by Tamil members of staff in the local embassies in Sri Lanka. There are said to be 1m such Diaspora Tamils some of whom have been involved in clandestine activities in terrorist related activities. In Canada, where Tamils make up the majority shops openly carry Tamil names and over a dozen Tamil newspapers is also available. The links to LTTE human trafficking industry has been a major contributor to the LTTE kitty.

Illegal immigration however is a huge business – it is why most borders remain unprotected. There are many who profit from illegal immigrants – businesses hire cheap labor, these replace baby boomers and provide a new consumer babe of 55m legal and illegal consumers in US, the non-profit and religious organizations use illegal immigrants to kick start charity campaigns that raise “funds” majority of which end up amongst organizers, the immigration lawyers make the most profits while the US prisons make $2billion from US taxpayers annually with 400,000 immigrants in prisons. These private prisons are backed by investment banks such as Citigroup, Bank of America, JPMOrgan Chase, Wellsfargo. Should we be surprised there are loopholes in policies and procedures?

So while 23m Americans are unemployed or cannot find full-time employment 7m work illegally and at cheaper costs and raises the question of why employers do not use the E-Verify system to identify those working illegally! In the US there are 11.9m illegal immigrants while the legal number is 26.1m.

Immigration policy is also part of an international trade agenda where concessions are given to transnational corporations to bring workers into the EU. Known as Mode 4 (moving workers across borders) this figures in all EU’s trade dealings – moving workers from lower to higher socio-economic nations is profitable and is no different to moving production and services to cheap labor destinations in Asia and Africa. The Indian Government in its trade agreements with US insists on Mode 4 concessions and India refuses to sign any trade agreements with Mode 4 concessions. These EU deals leave UK workers in a dilemma while international financial firms in London gain the profits. These firms lobbies with EU policy makers via “thecityuk” which comprise the International Financial Services London, Corporation of London and UK Trade and Industry, Innovation and Skills Dept. ThecityUK’s committee in turn gets the UK trade industry officials to ensure their interests are adopted to EU trade policy which is supported by the UK government. Another ugly chain of profit.

In 2010, the UK Government had to admit that officials were secretly allowed thousands immigrants without any background checks and the whistleblower (Steven Moxon) was sacked for making the news public – so much for transparency in the UK! It has emerged that people are allowed to enter UK and wrongly qualify for sickness benefits and maternity pay which is costing UK taxpayers tens of millions of pounds. Making matters worse was 150,000 illegal immigrants claiming benefits from UK without having any right to live in UK.

50,000 students had to be allowed to work illegally in UK because of a visa scandal in 2009 due to insecure electronic system that failed to identify licensed colleges/universities. However, 216,000 migrate annually to UK. Lapses by UK Border Agency is said to have resulted in 500,000 people entering UK. 1m migrants from Europe now live in UK.

The European system is to undermine any sense of national identity – Europe is today a pot of different nationalities intermingled and what Europe expects in return in the loyalty to European identity. However, no Asian or African has thought themselves “European”.

Therefore the current situation is not as easy to comprehend as we would think mainly because of the agenda that takes place using these issues and the dangers of these people moving agendas will fall on the EU, US, Canada and UK when in time they will discover their nations will be taken over by immigrants!

The views expressed are the author’s own.

One thought on “Sri Lanka’s Economic Migrants And Their “Asylum Seeking” Preference For Western Destinations – OpEd

  • December 13, 2012 at 5:37 am



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