‘Sri Lanka violates international refugee law’

Updated 13 August 2014
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‘Sri Lanka violates international refugee law’

GENEVA: The UN refugee agency on Tuesday accused Sri Lanka of breaking international law in its growing campaign to kick out Pakistani asylum seekers without a fair hearing.
“Fundamentally, this is a breach of the principle of no forced returns. That’s a clear violation of international law,” said Adrian Edwards, spokesman for the UN high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR).
Sri Lanka has deported 88 Pakistanis since Aug. 1, despite claims that they could be at risk in their homeland, Edwards said.
Starting with men who had been placed in detention, the country has widened the net to cover whole families, he told reporters.
“We are very concerned at the continued deportations that are happening. We want deportations stopped.”
In all, there are now 11 women and eight children among the deported, said Edwards.
“Some of the latest deportees had their passports and asylum-seeker certificates seized last week. They were told to go to Colombo airport, where they were placed on flights to Pakistan,” he said.


Four Indian soldiers killed in Kashmir battle with militants

Updated 11 min 18 sec ago
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Four Indian soldiers killed in Kashmir battle with militants

  • Government forces have launched a massive hunt for militants in parts of the disputed region since Thursday’s bombing
  • Kashmir has been split between India and Pakistan since independence from Britain in 1947

SRINAGAR, India: At least four soldiers died Monday in a fierce gunfight with rebels in Indian-administered Kashmir just four days after a suicide bomber killed 41 paramilitaries in the troubled territory, officials said.
One soldier and one civilian were also critically wounded in the shootout as troops launched a search operation in Pulwama district where the suicide bomber struck on Thursday.
“Four soldiers were killed during the shootout and another one is injured,” a senior police officer told AFP on condition of anonymity.
The official said the soldiers fired warning shots and the militants fired back, unleashing the firefight in the district 40 kilometers (25 miles) south of the main city of Srinagar.
The official added that the rebels were believed to have escaped.
Government forces have launched a massive hunt for militants in parts of the disputed region since Thursday’s bombing that India has blamed on Pakistan.
An explosives-packed van rammed a convoy transporting 2,500 security forces in the deadliest attack in Kashmir in 30 years.
Kashmir has been split between India and Pakistan since independence from Britain in 1947. Both countries, which have fought two wars over the territory, claim all of Kashmir.
Tens of thousands of people, mainly civilians, have died in Kashmir since an armed rebellion broke out in 1989.