Starving Lankans down under in bad way

Eleven Sri Lankan men at the Baxter detention centre in Australian had stepped up their hunger strike and were now refusing medication, Australia’s popular website reported yesterday (1).

The report said: The detainees were determined to continue their hunger strike until death, in a last bid to be granted refugee status in Australia, according to a refugee advocate, Rural Australians for Refugees spokeswoman Mira Wroblewski.

She said the decision of the men to reject medication and time in hospital followed the release from hospital yesterday of two men who had been refusing food for eight days.

Wroblewski said other hunger strikers were angry that the pair, after their release, had been forced to walk from the detention centre medical facility to their compounds in pouring rain.

She said two other men were taken to the detention centre’s medical facility last night, where one refused an intravenous saline drip.

"They’re very resilient," Wroblewski said.

"It (forcing them to walk in the rain) has just strengthened their resolve.

"It’s very sad. If they’re refusing saline then that has the potential to be very serious – even more serious than refusing the food.

"I’m going to try and actually talk them out of it, just as a friend who cares about them, but I don’t know if I’m going to be successful, to be honest."

Wroblewski said the hunger strikers were suffering headaches, dizziness and severe lethargy, with many already having lost 5kg.

Comment was being sought from the immigration department.


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