Colombo: Sri Lanka wants Pakistani asylum seekers to “return back to their country” in the vital security interests of the country and the region, the external affairs minister said today.
“State responsibility on its international obligations are nuanced and balanced in the context of domestic compulsions. A state cannot be expected to carry a burden of this nature for an indefinite period of time,” the external affairs ministry said in a statement.
“Therefore, these asylum seekers are being encouraged
to return, in the vital security interests of Sri Lanka and the region,” it said.
The asylum seeking or refugee population in the country witnessed a dramatic 700 per cent increase during the period of 2013-14 till June 30 this year.
There are presently 1562 asylum seekers and 308 refugees in the country.
The New York based rights group Human Rights Watch (HRW) said that at least 142 from Pakistani Ahmadiyya minority which also include Christians and Shia Muslims had been arrested by Sri Lankan police in June this year.
HRW also said the Sri Lankan authorities are threatening Pakistani minority group members to deport them at the same time when persecution of these groups is escalating in Pakistan, it said.
On the other hand, Sri Lanka blaims the UN refugee agency UNHCR claiming they had failed to expedite the twin processes of status determination of asylum seekers and resettlement of those identified as refugees in third world countries.
Refugee receiving countries have also been slow in processing resettlement applications.
“State responsibility on its international obligations are nuanced and balanced in the context of domestic compulsions. A state cannot be expected to carry a burden of this nature for an indefinite period of time”, the statement said.