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New Country Guidance for Sri Lanka: GJ and Others (post-civil war: returnees) Sri Lanka CG [2013] UKUT 00319 (IAC)

30 Jul 2013, 10:12 by Priya Bakshi

Labels: civil-war, detention, determination, international-protection, sri-lanka

The Upper Tribunal issued new Country Guidance for Sri Lanka on 5 July 2013.  This guidance is for deciding asylum cases in the UK and sets out the following;

1. This determination replaces all existing country guidance on Sri Lanka.

2. The focus of the Sri Lankan government's concern has changed since the civil war ended in May 2009.

3. The government's present objective is to identify Tamil activists in the diaspora who are working for Tamil separatism.

4. If a person is detained by the Sri Lankan security services there remains a real risk of ill-treatment or harm requiring international protection.

5. Internal relocation is not an option within Sri Lanka for a person at real risk from the Sri Lankan authorities.

6. There are no detention facilities at the airport.  Only those whose names appear on a "stop" list will be detained from the airport.  

7. The current categories of persons at real risk of persecution or serious harm on return to Sri Lanka, whether in detention or otherwise, are:

(a) Individuals who are, or are perceived to be, a threat to the integrity of Sri Lanka as a single state.

(b)  Journalists or human rights activists.

(c) Individuals who have given evidence to the Lessons Learned and
Reconciliation Commission.

(d) A person whose name appears on a computerised "stop" list
accessible at the airport, comprising a list of those against whom there is an extant court order or arrest warrant.  

8. The Sri Lankan authorities' approach is based on sophisticated intelligence, both as to activities within Sri Lanka and in the diaspora.  

9. The authorities maintain a computerised intelligence-led "watch" list. A person whose name appears on a "watch" list is not reasonably likely to be detained at the airport but will be monitored by the security services after his or her return.

10. Consideration must always be given to whether, in the light of an
individual's activities and responsibilities during the civil war, the
exclusion clauses are engaged.

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