In a significant development with Kerala and Sri Lanka, the Kerala police are preparing to deport to Colombo 12 Sri Lankan Tamils recently held at Kollam while trying to illegally sail to Australia for asylum. The remaining members of the 151-strong group, which included 19 women and 22 children, have been already sent back to their refugee camps in Tamil Nadu.  “We are shifting these 12 Tamils from the Thiruvananthapuram central jail, where they have been held since arrest on June 3 night, to Gandhi Bhavan in Pathanapuram near Kottarakara tomorrow (Saturday). We will keep them there awaiting clearance from the Ministry of External Affairs and also the Sri Lankan high commission before deporting them to Colombo”, said circle inspector Y. Kamarudeen yesterday.  Asked why these 12 were being deported to Sri Lanka, a source explained that they had arrived by air from Sri Lanka on June 2 and joined the larger group that had gathered at Kollam from various refugee camps in TN. This may be the first time in several years that Sri Lankan Tamils landed in India are being deported to Sri Lanka.]]>

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