Number of Lankans seeking asylum drops



With the end of the war the number of Sri Lankans seeking asylum in the industrialized world has seen a considerable drop though the country still remains in the top 10 source countries.


A report by the UNHCR released yesterday saw less Sri Lankans seeking asylum in Australia and Europe last year as compared to a year earlier.


The Australian media quoted a spokesman for the Australian Immigration Minister Chris Bowen as saying the number of Sri Lankans arriving in Australia has fallen as a result of improvements in circumstances in northern Sri Lanka and not as a result of changes in domestic Australian policy.


There were no comments to the report from other countries where Sri Lankans had sought asylum over the years, particularly during the conflict.


Unveiling the report, High Commissioner António Guterres said the global dynamics of asylum had changed in recent years.


"We need to study the root causes to see if the decline is because of fewer push factors in areas of origin, or tighter migration control in countries of asylum," Mr. Guterres said.


Serbia – including Kosovo – provided the biggest number of asylum-seekers in 2010, with 28,900 claims lodged, compared to only 18,800 the previous year.


The other leading countries of origin of asylum-seekers were, in order: Afghanistan, China, Iraq, Russia, Somalia, Iran, Pakistan, Nigeria and Sri Lanka.


Guterres noted that the developing world is still "carrying the lion’s share of responsibility for hosting refugees," with countries such as Liberia and Tunisia playing host to asylum-seekers despite their own problems and challenges.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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