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Thursday, 19 April 2012 - 12:42
Tamil people make request to United Nations High Commission for Refugees.
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Relatives and friends of Sri Lankan Tamils who risked their lives in search of a better future abroad after the end of the war in May 2009 are desperately seeking information as to their fates.

Thousands of Tamils migrated from the country to escape the violence of the 30-year civil war.

Many have fallen prey to dangerous human smuggling networks, their families say.

The smugglers reportedly charge between $25,000 and $50,000 to take a person from Sri Lanka to places like Australia or Canada.

Those wanting to get out are first taken to India or Thailand and then to Australia by boat.

Many Sri Lankan Tamils have gone missing during this voyage, while others have been caught by the authorities and are languishing in prisons.

Family members have approached international agencies such as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees for help.

Families back in Sri Lanka believe that their loved ones are languishing in undisclosed locations in Indonesia but officials deny the existence of such facilities.

Meanwhile the International Organisation for Migration says that while it is concerned over the increased number of people smuggling cases, it is very difficult to find a person who has gone missing.

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