For more details and to sign the letter see
Ponniah Uthayakumar, Uthayakumar Saroja Devi, and Uthayakumar Kawsika are a Tamil family from Sri Lanka who were taken from their Newcastle home in a dawn raid on 5th September and taken to Yarl's Wood. 10 years old Kawsika was just about to start school.
The family are suspected by the Sri Lankan government of connections to the LTTE (Tamil Tigers), and would be in extreme danger if deported.
"The Sri Lankan government has apparently given its security forces a green light to use 'dirty war' tactics. ... Security forces have subjected civilians to indiscriminate attacks and impeded the delivery of humanitarian aid. Some 315,000 people have had to flee their homes due to fighting since August 2006, the vast majority Tamils and Muslims. About 100,000 were displaced in March alone. Government authorities have forced some to return to areas that remained insecure."
Human Rights Watch, 6th August 2007
Over 70 Tamils from Sri Lanka recently went on hunger strike in various detention centres in the UK, some for nearly one month. They were demanding the removals to be suspended until the new country guidance case was heard, and the sort of Tamils who were imprisoned, tortured or disappeared after being forcibly returned to be investigated. One was killed at Colombo airport.
"I met a gentleman who was claiming asylum-for the second time, as he had failed the first time. He had been returned, re-arrested, detained and tortured again. I learned from talking to his lawyer that his case was not an isolated one. This country has been sending back as failed asylum seekers a number of people who went through that experience. Some managed to escape again and tried to claim asylum again; others have disappeared; still others have been killed."
Edward Davey MP, highlighting a constituent's case, 2 May 2007
The Tribunal documented 12 principal risk factors.
i. Tamil ethnicity
ii. Previous record as a suspected or actual LTTE member or supporter
iii. Previous criminal record and/or outstanding arrest warrant
iv. Bail jumping and/or escaping from custody
v. Having signed a confession or similar document
vi. Having been asked by the security forces to become an informer
vii. Presence of scarring
viii. Return from London or other centre of LTTE activity or fundraising
ix. Illegal departure from Sri Lanka
x. Lack of ID card or other documentation
xi. Having made an asylum claim abroad
xii. Having relatives in the LTTE
one of noborders
TYNESIDE COMMUNITY ACTION FOR REFUGEES (TCAR)