Information since September 1996 on the treatment by Colombo police and security forces of Catholic Tamil priests from the North, including whether there have been any reports of arrests, detention or mistreatment of these priests in Colombo, and whether Catholic Tamil priests have problems when registering with the Colombo police [LKA27005.E]

In a 13 May 1997 e-mail to the DIRB, the executive director of the National Peace Council of Sri Lanka in Colombo commented that "generally all clergy are treated with respect in Sri Lanka. If they are suspected of having committed any offences punishable under ER or PTA they will have to face consequences which would apply to any citizen irrespective of the religion they profess."

The following information was provided in an 14 May 1997 telephone interview with a senior priest of the Jaffna Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church who is based in Colombo. The views expressed in this Response are his own.

Catholic Tamil priests from the North do not have any problems with the security forces, police or the authorities in Colombo, nor do they have any difficulties registering with the Colombo police. It is no problem for Catholic Tamil priests from the North to stay in Colombo.

Please consult Responses to Information LKA27004.E of 12 June 1997 for information on the general situation of the Roman Catholic Church in Jaffna and whether it has experienced any difficulties with the LTTE or the security forces, and LKA27001.E of 12 June 1997 for information on possible arrests or detentions in Jaffna of Roman Catholic priests. Both Responses are available at Regional Documentation Centres.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Executive Director of the National Peace Council of Sri Lanka and development advisor with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Colombo. 13 May 1997. E-mail sent to the DIRB.

Senior priest, Jaffna Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church, Colombo. 14 May 1997. Telephone interview.

Additional Sources Consulted

Amnesty International Report 1996. 1996.

Asian Survey [Berkeley, Calif.]. Monthly. September 1996-March 1997.

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1996. 1997.

DIRB Indexed Media Review [Ottawa]. Weekly. September 1996-present.

_____. "Sri Lanka" country file. September 1996-present.

_____. "Sri Lanka: Amnesty International" country file. September 1996-present.

Eglises d'Asie [Paris]. Fortnightly. November 1995-present.

Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Daily Reports. (WNC)

Human Rights Watch World Report 1997. 1996.

Keesing's Record of World Events [Cambridge]. Monthly. September 1996-February 1997.
The Refugee Council, London. February 1997.

Protection Denied: Sri Lankan Tamils, the Home Office and the Forgotten Civil War.

Sri Lanka Information Monitor: Situation Report [Colombo]. Monthly. November 1996-April 1997.

The Sri Lanka Monitor [London]. Monthly. October 1996-March 1997.

Tamil Information [London]. Infrequent reports. January-February 1996-June-September 1996.

Tamil Times [Surrey]. Monthly. November 1996-May 1997.
UNHCR-Geneva. March 1997.

Background Paper on Refugees and Asylum Seekers from Sri Lanka.

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