Diary of a Pakistani refugee child in Sri Lanka
UNHCR gave us a letter of failure and we were all scared to death. What if we are sent back to Pakistan we will be killed. My mother’s Pashtun family would never let us live. Pakistan army Generals against whom my sister had written would not let us live.
My sister started looking for a lawyer so that he can help us with our appeal against the decision of UNHCR. We found a lawyer; he came to our house in a very good mood and went very angry after seeing my sister’s website.
We started receiving wrong calls. We were followed. My sister said now I am exposed. She started writing with her real name.
We went to women in need center and asked for protection they agreed. When they spoke to UNHCR Colombo staff they refused to accept us and we returned to our rented home with a lot of fear.
On Saturday 15 some immigration officers came to our house. They were forcing us to open the door. They were banging and kicking on the door. They had no female officer with them. We were very scared and left the house by jumping in to the next building house. It was very risky as we were on the 2nd floor.
chulananda prera Head of Immigration Department
We went to Kandy and stayed there for few days. We called UNHCR and asked them to help us. UNHCR staff said “does not do a drama come back to your house. You are protected by UNHCR immigration cannot harm you”.
We came back to our house and we were arrested right in front of our house.
People who 1st attacked us were not immigration officers or police men. They were taxi drivers they held us tight and many passersby also helped them. My sister fell down many people were holding and touching her, someone snatched her heavy gold chain.
Officers arrived very late and were very happy on our arrest.
Police station in Colombo
They took us to nearby Dahiwala police station. The head of the immigration staff Amit entered the police station and was forcing the police high officials to accept us in the jail but they plainly refused and told them that we cannot be accepted in the jails as we were not criminals but asylum seekers.
I asked him for how long he will keep us in the jail he answered with a very furious face 40 years. My mother said please for God sake he said there is no God here.
We were brought to Mirahina detention camp.
There were many people detained there they were surprised at our arrest and detention as we were registered Asylum seekers with UNHCR and had no male family member with us. Mr Amit took our passports by force and went away.
Next day we went to the small office of immigration staff in the Detention camp. The officer present there was not very sure why we were in the detention camp. On our request he started calling different numbers to find out the reason of our arrest. After calling many numbers and after a detailed conversation he told us very comfortably while stretching in his seat
He put his one finger on the other and said,
“Your case is between ISI and SIS. ISI head contacted SIS head to investigate about you. Your house is sealed you will be presented to the court and you will be deported to Pakistan”
Head of ISI Zahir ul Islam
Inoticed that my sister was very scared she told my mother they will kill us.
Afer that she started calling UNHCR office she cried many times and asked them to help us. She told my mother UNHCR staff is under pressure from their Pakistan friendly Government they will not help us.
My sister kept calling Human rights groups and journalists no body helped us. Every day my sister looked as if she will die.
Pic of calbo wala teaching hospital colombo
One morning she had pain in her chest. She had a heart attack. She was taken to the hospital I accompanied her. Our mother was not allowed to come to the hospital. We spent few days in the hospital.
A doctor told my sister that Government authorities had advised them to discharge us as soon as possible because we were spies of India.
In the hospital my sister kept crying. We were guarded by armed police men and women day and night.
My sister was still very sick when she was discharged from the hospital. From the hospital we were taken to a horrible looking jail. Our name was enlisted there.
They planned to shift us from detention camp to the jail.
Now it was clear that Sri Lankan authorities were doing as told by Pakistan security forces against whom my sister had written.
Sri Lankan authorities acted criminally and UNHCR was scared of their Government and was hiding. We decided to flee from the detention camp.
It was Monday 8th April 201, when we left the detention camp early in the morning.
Our Sufferings were not over it was a start of another horrible period hiding in Sri Lanka when special forces were looking for us. We were bleeding and UNHCR was hiding. There was no one in UNHCR who could say no to the Pakistan friendly Government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
To be continued ...