Local and international organizations working on behalf of the rights of returnees, refugees and migrants will be filing a fundamental rights case in the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka citing the unlawful arrest of 12 Sri Lankan asylum-seekers who were recently deported by Australia.

The Australian Air Force through a charter plane recently sent back 12 Sri Lankans from Negombo and Mihintale including a woman and two children who are reported to have arrived by boat close to the Cocos Islands in Australian territory, and had handed them over to the local authorities at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake to be arrested by the Immigration and Emigration officials and the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

They could have been arrested by the Australians mid sea in international waters before being sent back by the Australians by air, so therefore based on what legal jurisdiction are we to believe Australia, Chairman of Transparency International Sri Lanka, Attorney-at-Law Lakshan Dias (Lakshan Dias Associates works with SANRIM, which is a Member of the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network) queried.

The Police, in this case the CID and the Inspector General of Police (IGP) are to be named as the respondents, he said.