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March 1995, Volume 2, Number 2

Tamil Asylum Seekers in Europe

Dutch police reported that they broke up a syndicate that smuggled Tamils from Sri Lanka into the Netherlands via Russia at a charge of $5,000 each. Once they arrived, the Tamils applied for asylum without documents.

Switzerland, which received 3,000 Tamil asylum seekers in 1985, today has about 25, 000 Tamils in the country. Most Tamils had their applications for asylum rejected, but they were nonetheless allowed to remain in Switzerland, and work in the hotel and restaurant business or in construction as long as they engage in no criminal activity.

Three hundred Tamils living in Norway will be returned to Sri Lanka because the Norwegian government believes that they no longer risk persecution due to the end of the 12-year ethnic war. Many of the Tamils have gone underground to avoid deportation. Police have been instructed to use force, if necessary, to expel them.

"Norway to return Tamils to Sri Lanka," Agence France Presse, January 25, 1995. "Dutch Police Break Tamil Immigrant Smuggling Ring; Tamils: Exile in Switzerland," Swiss Review of World Affairs, January 3, 1995.