Sunday, March 26, 2006



Embarassing

Remember Takshila? The 16-year-old Sri Lankan girl who was forcibly sedated and deported back to her abusers because then-Immigration Minister Lianne Dalziel refused to accept that the threat of being raped and killed by her own family constituted "a well-founded fear of persecution"?

According to today's Sunday Star-Times, she was forced to flee Sri Lanka within three months of being deported there. And she has now been granted refugee status by the UN, and is about to begin a new life in Canada.

This should be immensely embarassing for New Zealand, and particularly for Dalziel. She made the wrong decision, seemingly out of a desire to punish someone who was making her look bad - and as a result a refugee, someone we should have been granting safe haven to, was exposed to further danger.

Unfortunately, Immigration is completely unrepentant and refusing to admit that they even made a mistake in the first place. Which doesn't exactly bode well for ensuring that it isn't repeated in the future.

4 comments:

C'mon, Idiot. This was a Refugee Status Appeals Authority decision, wasn't it? As I recall, her case didn't fit the criteria, and there were some doubts over consistency of evidence. It *was* investigated. (Damien O'Connor could have reversed the decision on humanitarian grounds, but didn't.)

If you alter the rules to automatically encompass cases like this one, you're opening the door a very long way.

Cheers,
RB

Posted by Russell Brown : 3/27/2006 07:39:00 AM

Much of the girls story seem to change over time - the story of sexual assault only came out after the original story had proved to be false.

I/S are you saying that anybody who turns up and makes up a story about rape should automatically be beleived and allowed in.

If you answer is yes then we are going to have lots of rape cases turning up!

Ofcourse having make these (false) accusations against two uncles sending her back did indeed expose her to threat due to the families anger

SB

Posted by SB : 3/27/2006 08:40:00 AM

Gee you guys are all heart.

She should have been allowed to stay.

Posted by muerk : 3/27/2006 04:38:00 PM

Russell: I'd suggest that this demonstrates a basic failure on behalf of the RSAA to investigate the case properly - as well as an unwarranted faith in the ability of the Sri Lankan government to protect her. It may have been their responsibility ultimately, but the moment she came here, it became ours - and we failed to live up for it. Fortunately there was a happy ending - but what if there hadn't been? Our government would have refouled someone to their deaths - in violation of the Refugee Convention as well as basic standards of decency.

SB: a) The accusations were not false
b) The criteria for recognition as a refugee is a well-founded fear of persecution. I'd say that anyone who was subjected to death threats for attempting to use the criminal justice system to punish their abusers qualifies.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 3/27/2006 10:31:00 PM