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Deportation: Sri Lanka

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 11 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent changes have been made to her Department's policy on the removal of Sri Lankan Tamils from the UK; and if she will make a statement. (254536)

It remains our policy that enforced returns to Sri Lanka, or any other country, will only be undertaken where the UK Border Agency is satisfied that to do so is in accordance with our international protection obligations.

The UK Border Agency carefully considers all asylum claims and human rights claims, including those from Tamils, on their individual merits against the background of the latest available country information drawn from a wide range of publicly recognised sources and relevant case law. If their application is refused, they have a right of appeal to the Asylum Immigration Tribunal or an opportunity to seek judicial review through the higher courts. In this way we ensure that we provide protection to those asylum seekers who need it.

The 2008 European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) case of NA endorsed existing Asylum and Immigration Tribunal country guidance case law on risk to Tamils in Sri Lanka. The ECtHR considered that there was no general risk of mistreatment to Tamils in Sri Lanka.